The Netherlands will block proposals to admit Romania and Bulgaria into Europe’s passport-free travel zone until the two newest EU members persuade it they are making progress in fighting corruption, a Dutch minister said on Wednesday.
Several EU governments have suggested in recent months that Romania and Bulgaria could enter Schengen by first eliminating checks at airports and lifting land border controls later.
Dutch minister for immigration, told reporters in Brussels the Netherlands will not be ready to agree to such a plan if, as some EU diplomats suggest, there is a discussion on the issue at a summit of EU leaders on Dec. 9.
“It’s 100 percent sure,” he said. “They don’t have to put it on the agenda (of the summit). To us, the answer is clear.”
The Dutch Minister said the Netherlands would examine a European Commission report on anti-corruption efforts in Romania and Bulgaria, due in February.
“If we see progress in February, then we have a start,” he said.