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April 11, 2023

Former President of EU Commission “Shocked” That Romania Is Still

The former president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that he was shocked that Romania is still not part of the borderless area of Schengen.

His comments came during his visit to Bucharest in order to receive an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Economic Studies (ASE), where he also met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

During his visit to Romania’s capital, Juncker also threw accusations towards the European Union.

“I remain shocked that Romania has not yet joined the Schengen Zone,” Juncker pointed out, according to a Romania Insider report.

>>Schengen Area – The World’s Largest Visa Free Zone

He said that he had advocated for the Balkan country’s accession to Schengen Zone since 2014, when he became president of the Commission, noting that he has continued to advocate for Romania’s cause.

The former president of the European Commission said it considered the Balkan country a good example for others to follow after; according to him, it is a territory that has been able to derive all benefits from its European membership. He stressed that he does not like EU Member States to be categorized differently.

Juncker said that Romania is in the premier league, adding that others should understand and European institutions also should respect Romania just like they respect all member countries.

“I love Romania. We never know why we love someone, it’s something irrational, but in the case of Romania, it is a love based on something visible – the success of this country,” Juncker noted.

In spite of Juncker’s support for Romania’s accession to the Schengen Zone, earlier today, Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner once again stressed that Austria’s position regarding the issue had not changed at all, meaning that Austria will continue to oppose Romania’s accession to Schengen.

On December 8, Austria blocked Romania’s process of joining the borderless area of Schengen after, according to Austrian authorities, it was not the right time for Romania to become part of Schengen due to illegal migrant concerns.

Karner’s comments came as a response to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who recently expressed his support regarding Romania’s accession to Schengen Zone.

The Minister considered that there was a contradiction in the German Chancellor after he wanted to lift the controls at the border between Romania and Hungary, but Germany continued to control the border with Austria.

During the meeting held with the Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, the German Chancellor said that Germany wants Romania in Schengen Area this year.

Unlike the Minister of the Interior’s opinion, the President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, previously said that he supports Romania’s accession to the Schengen Zone.

>> Romania Remains Determined on Its Efforts to Join Schengen Area Despite Opposition From Austria