Romania’s Move Towards Schengen Membership
Romania recently removed air and sea border controls with other Schengen Area Member States, setting the stage for its eventual entry into the Schengen Zone. In response, Austria has announced plans to deploy additional officers to assist Romanian teams at the Bucharest airport with the processing of passports and other travel documents.
According to Romanian Minister of Internal Affairs Cătălin Predoiu, this collaboration is a significant step towards Romania’s integration into the border-free zone. In an interview with DC News TV, he emphasized the positive impact of joint efforts between Romanian and Bulgarian officers, as well as those from other Schengen Members, in strengthening border security measures.
The Minister also highlighted the potential for collaboration in other fields, including efforts to combat illegal migration, human trafficking, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, and organized crime. This cooperative approach is seen as essential to ensuring the effective supervision of Romania’s borders with non-EU countries.
While the removal of internal air and sea border controls is scheduled for March 31, 2024, the date for land border removal is yet to be announced. The EU has expressed its commitment to providing financial support and Frontex assistance to both Romania and Bulgaria, further facilitating the transition towards full Schengen membership.
Despite Austria’s previous objections to Schengen enlargement, the gradual accession of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen Area is now underway. This significant development reflects a shared commitment to enhancing border security and fostering closer cooperation among EU member states. It’s an exciting time for Romania as it takes steps towards joining the Schengen Zone and embracing the benefits of seamless travel within Europe.
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