France denies Romania, Bulgaria entry into Schengen area

France denies Romania, Bulgaria entry into Schengen area
# 13 November 2010 05:00 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. France said Friday Romania and Bulgaria have not met conditions to be admitted into Schengen area, APA reports quoting Xinhua News Agency.

"Bulgaria and Romania have a natural vocation to enter the Schengen area. In this perspective, both countries have made efforts and made real progress" but "the assessment process is not yet complete," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in a regular press briefing.

Conditions "are not met today for (their) accession after the month of March," Valero said.

"We think it is wiser to wait the presentation in July of the next report of the (European) Commission under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism," he added.

Valero recalled that in last annual report, the European Commission noted progress in the two countries but said "more improvement remains to be done."

"Once the evaluations completed, it will be up to the council to decide in unanimity the lifting of internal border controls and the use of the Schengen information system in optimum operating conditions," the spokesman added.

France’s Minister for European Affairs, Pierre Lellouche said earlier this week France preferred to delay EU decision on the Bulgarian and Romanian entry in the Schengen Area until summer.

The two eastern European countries joined the European Union in 2007, but shortcomings in judicial and political systems have prevented them from fully enjoying the rights of EU citizens.