The European Commission is pressuring the Netherlands to finally bring Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen area and abolish border controls. According to Europe, there is absolutely no reason to continue blocking this “historic decision” that the Netherlands has been making for 11 years. People’s Newspaper Report based on European Commission report.
In its report, the commission said there was “no doubt” that Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia fulfilled all the conditions to join the passport-free Schengen zone. The European Commission urged member states to give the green light to the expansion of the Schengen Agreement in December, fulfilling the EU’s “commitments” to the three countries and meeting “legitimate expectations”.
All Bulgarian members of the European Parliament recently sent Prime Minister Mark Rutte A letter with a similar charm. “Decisions on the extension of the Schengen area should not depend on the national agenda of one member state,” they said.
The Netherlands is the only EU member state blocking the expansion of the Schengen area, which requires a unanimous decision by EU member states. The European Commission had already decided in 2011 that Romania and Bulgaria, which have been members of the EU since 2007, were ready to join the Schengen Area. There was opposition among Member States, citing concerns about corruption, crime and fraud as reasons for maintaining border controls. But after major reforms by Sofia and Bucharest, all member states except the Netherlands agreed.
The frustration that the Netherlands is still lagging behind is evident in the European Commission’s report, the newspaper said. “Further delays must be avoided,” the commission wrote. War and growing migration flows make mutual trust and unity more important than ever. “There is no doubt that the coalition is ready for this historic decision.”
According to the Commission, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia are prime examples of adequate and full implementation of all Schengen requirements. This includes effective monitoring of Europe’s external borders, visa control, illegal immigration and crime prevention, cooperation with European institutions and respect for human rights.
In an attempt to persuade the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Romania asked Member State experts to visit them in October and reassess their readiness. The results, the Commission said, “conclusively confirm” that these Member States respect the Schengen Agreement. The Netherlands did not participate in this fact-finding mission, citing insufficient details.
The Schengen Area is made up of 26 countries, including 22 EU member states. Her 420 million residents of these countries can travel within the Schengen Zone without a passport. Lack of border controls also facilitates the trade and transportation sector.