Most recently, Federal President Joachim Gauck was on a state visit to Romania in 2016. His successor Frank-Walter Steinmeier has finally arrived – and assures the Romanians of his support.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has promised Romania further German support for admission to the European Schengen area without border controls.
“We have long been of the opinion that Romania belongs in the Schengen area,” he said in Bucharest after talks with Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis. German support to persuade those who are still preventing admission will continue.
Iohannis thanked Steinmeier for “Germany’s strong and active support” for accession, which requires unanimity in the European Council. Schengen accession was originally planned for this year, but failed due to resistance from the Netherlands and Austria. Vienna was surprisingly added as a new opponent last autumn – with the argument that the Schengen expansion would promote illegal migration.
“Our place is in the Schengen area”
Iohannis signaled understanding for this concern: “The issue of illegal migration moves many Europeans.” But they are currently trying out how to deal with this problem in an EU-funded pilot project on the border with Serbia. Political discussions continued. “I think things are moving,” Iohannis said. “Our place is without a doubt in the Schengen area.”
Steinmeier emphasized that the convincing arguments for Romania’s entry into the Schengen area had been exchanged. “We will assert these arguments emphatically against Austria and the Netherlands.” This applies primarily to the federal government. During a visit to Bucharest in April, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) spoke out in favor of the EU and NATO country joining the Schengen area before the end of this year.
The Federal President had arrived in Romania for a three-day state visit in the morning. He was greeted with military honors by Iohannis at his official residence. Steinmeier later also wanted to meet with Romania’s Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
Travel program of Federal President Steinmeier
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