Merkel asks Romania to up efforts for Schengen bid

“Germany will look closely at Romania’s bid to join the Schengen area and will give a fair and just assessment based on the European Commission’s criteria,” Chancellor Merkel said during a press conference, following a meeting with Romanian President Traian Basescu.

Romania and neighboring Bulgaria are seeking to join the so-called Schengen zone of 25 European countries where people can freely cross the borders between the members in the zone. The progress of both countries will be assessed in November by the European Commission.

Analysts say it is likely that Romania will be accepted into the Schengen zone next year. “As Romania has already met all technical requirements, there is no reasonal argument against from this perspective,” explained political analyst Cristian Fierbinteanu.

“But, as the process also has a political component, criticism might be voiced at any time due to Romania’s problems related to justice reforms or the integration of Roma people,” he continued.

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