José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, has advised Romania to speed up efforts to reform its judiciary system and combat corruption if it wants to join the EU’s border-free Schengen area.
Speaking to the press following a meeting with Romanian President Traian Basescu in Bucharest yesterday (8 November), Barroso said there was no legal link between Romania’s EU monitoring in judiciary matters and the country’s Schengen accession.
“The Schengen area means trust. Romania needs to convince member states that it deserves to be there,” Barroso said.
Barroso said Commission experts would be in Romania next week to assess the country’s progress.
Romanian President Traian Basescu said he was aware that the EU’s decision to allow Romania into the Schengen area must be taken by unanimity, meaning that every country would have veto powers.
However, he insisted that the criteria for joining the EU border-free area were purely technical, and that Romania had fulfilled those criteria.