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Finland: It Is Too Early for Bulgaria and Romania to Join Schengen

Published on , , Sofia
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At the meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Council on 22 September two countries, Finland and the Netherlands, have vetoed the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen area. euinside is presenting herewith the arguments of the two countries.

Minister of the Interior of Finland Päivi Räsänen:

"Finland considers that it is yet too early to make a decision on the accession of these two states to the Schengen area."

"Bulgaria and Romania have worked hard to be able to join the Schengen area. However, the situation in these countries should be assessed as a whole."

Before a decision on accession is made, Finland would like to see Bulgaria and Romania gain further progress in combating corruption and improving the judicial system. "The states still have room for improvement in these areas."

"In addition to committing to rules, one needs to comply with them. The existence of wide-ranging corruption endangers compliance with the rules. Progress in combating corruption and improving the judicial system would increase mutual trust within the Schengen area. Mutual trust is of key importance in the Schengen system."

Finland does not support the proposed compromise on the two-phased accession where internal border checks would be lifted first at air and sea borders and then at land borders by the end of this year. "The states should be fully ready to join the Schengen area when the abolition of internal border checks starts".

"Even without accession, citizens of Bulgaria and Romania may still travel in Europe in accordance with the principle of free movement."

Finland is committed to regularly assessing the readiness of Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen area. In Ms Räsänen's view, their readiness could be reassessed in early 2012.

A note from the editor: The text is based on the official statement of the Finnish Ministry of Interior

25 September 2011 14:17
Total and utterv disgrace from Finland who are playing with other countries to appease recent racism at home.
6 March 2012 21:51
I think the best way is to allow Romania and Bulgaria to enter the Schengen Zone, because they will try their possible best to fight against corruption and maintain their Dignity as a Schengen country to proof people wrong.
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