“Hungary will provide all the help Bulgaria and Romania need to join Schengen Area as soon as possible”, Hungarian Minister for Home Affairs Sándor Pintér said. One of the main priorities of the Hungarian Presidency is the rapid accession of Romania and Bulgaria to Schengen.
"I am optimistic; there is no such thing as a lost cause", said Minister for Home Affairs Sándor Pintér, on the international press conference held on January 5, in Budapest. A correspondent asked the Minister related to a recent statement by France and Germany suggesting that neither of the countries saw any chance for Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen Area in to upcoming period.
In his response, the Minister pointed out that both countries invested a lot of effort into preparing for the Schengen entry and fulfilling the Schengen criteria, their previous assessments were positive and the Romanian and Bulgarian authorities will rectify identified shortcomings. “Member State experts will publish their opinion at the end of January when the dossier will be forwarded to the Council for a political decision about the Schengen entry of Romania and Bulgaria based on a technical review of the dossier” - the Minister pointed out.
"The related procedure is clear-cut: all of the Schengen countries have to reach a consensus on and vote in favour of the entry of Romania and Bulgaria. Failing the 100 percent consensus, the two countries will not join the Schengen Area. I think the least we need to accomplish before June the latest is the formulation of a political declaration that specifies the tasks the two countries need to complete along with the respective deadlines in order to change the views of Germany and France", the Minister concluded.
One of the top priorities of the Hungarian Presidency is the rapid accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Area, and Hungary will do everything in its power to make this happen. Sándor Pintér stressed that the Hungarian Presidency intends to pass on the torch to Poland with the issue of the Schengen entry of Romania and Bulgaria closed to the satisfaction of both countries.