The European Parliament today backed an S&D led report calling for Romania and Bulgaria to become full members of the Schengen area without delay. Both countries meet the technical requirements to become members but have been blocked for political reasons in the European Council.
PES president and S&D MEP Sergei Stanishev, who authored the report, said:
“With this S&D led report, the Parliament went beyond its repeated calls for immediate accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen area by insisting on full accession with all borders – land, maritime and air. By overwhelming majority, we have categorically rejected partial accession, as it not only lacks any legally sound justification, but also entails a number of economic, social and political downsides for the whole EU. By rejecting these half-baked conservative ideas, the S&D is once again at the forefront in the battle against double standards and dual class citizenship in the EU. We will never stop fighting to uphold justice and preserve free movement.”
S&D Group vice-president Josef Weidenholzer added:
“We cannot allow double standards to exist in the Schengen area. Romania and Bulgaria have met the full list of requirements needed to become members and should be allowed to join without any further delay. The idea of partial accession is a complete non-starter. We cannot have one set of rules for the majority of member states and different ones for another- in the EU there are no second class members or citizens. National governments who are blocking the accession for political reasons must change course and see that continued delay is damaging for the whole EU.”