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May 30, 2024
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Schengen Illusion for Romania Ignited Once Again

There are 35 years since, on June 14 1985, the Schengen Treaty was signed. The borderless space encompasses now to 26 European countries who have agreed to eliminate the passport control and all the other types of border control at their mutual borders. Romania, a country who has long ago fulfilled the Schengen acquis, both legal and technical, is still being kept out. Why?

Recently, Romanian mass-media announced, in breaking news, that the European Parliament voted for a resolution which requests the immediate accession of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen space. The news is not new, though, as year after year the European Parliament votes for the admission of the two countries into the European borderless space. The fact is that the European Parliament does not have the decisive position for approving the admission of any country to the Schengen space, but the European Council does.

Romania fails the European Council’s exam. The conspiracy theory on this subject says Romania is strongly refused by the Netherlands because the Western country wouldn’t want Constanta, the main Romanian Black Sea harbor, to be part of the Schengen area, as it would be a competitor for Rotterdam. On top of that, there are voices who claim that the Dutch asked for being granted the management of Constanta harbor by the Romanian authorities, but the latter refused.

This conspiracy theory is also analysed by other English speaking publication focused on the Eastern European economics and politics. Balkan Insight published an interesting fact-checking article on this subject, their conclusion being that there is no direct connection between the ‘jealousy’ of the Dutch and their refusal to admit Romania into Schengen area.

Still, even if Romanians gladly received the news of the vote from the European Parliament, the country would undoubtedly fail once more the test of the European Council. There would be no explanation for that and the conspiracy theory will last for another year.

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