France says Romania and Bulgaria were delayed Schengen because of corruption

France has cited corruption at the borders as the main argument for delaying Bulgaria and Romania’s entry into the EU passport-free Schengen area, though acknowledging the two countries have met all technical requirements.

“Our concern is that even if they have reached technical standards on managing borders, corruption in those countries could weaken those borders,” Claude Guéant, French Interior Minister said.

The minister has however hinted that a phased-in entry may be an acceptable compromise, involving “a first stage in autumn with the opening of air borders in the presence of police from other states.”

“A second stage could take place later, in 2012, with the opening of land borders, there again with the help of border guards from other EU countries.”

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