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JHA Council: Netherlands still against Romania joining Schengen Area

The Ministry of Administration and the Interior (MAI) confirms that, during the Tuesday meeting of the Council of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) in Brussels, the Polish presidency ruled that the draft resolution on Romania and Bulgaria accession to the Schengen Area cannot be adopted, due to the Netherlands opposition.

Romania was represented at the JHA works by Minister of Administration and the Interior Traian Igas.
'The Polish presidency presented the stage of the accession process, as well as the talks held on this matter on the occasion of the European Council between December 8 and 9 of 2011. Thus, the conclusions of the European Council were restated, which read that 'all the legal requirements were met so as the decision on Romania and Bulgaria accession to be made. They request the JHA Council to adopt this draft resolution as soon as possible',' reads a MAI release sent on Tuesday.

The Dutch Minister of Home Affairs said they maintain their position previously asserted and that a possible flexibility might occur following a positive intermediate report of the Mechanism of Cooperation and Verification 9 issued in February 2012.

Dutch Embassy about Traian Basescu’s statements: Everyone explains EU decisions to electors as he wishes

“The Embassy of the Netherlands does not consider necessary to comment on the reaction of the president of Romania about the conclusions of the European Council. Any government from any EU member country has the right to present or explain its own electors the conclusions of the European Council as it thinks fit,” the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bucharest declared to Mediafax, in response to the recent statements made by president Traian Basescu.

At the same time, the diplomatic missions points out that the ambassador expresses his hope to present his letters of accreditation to the president of Romania as soon as possible.On the other hand, the new Dutch ambassador to Bucharest, Matthijs van Bonzel, who has not officially taken over all attributions because he has not presented his letters of accreditation to the president, posted a message on the Facebook page of the embassy on 7 December. “I am looking forward to knowing Romania, the Romanian people and society in all its aspects. I will do my best to serve relations between Romania and my country of origin. Romania is located in South-Eastern Europe, the Netherlands in the North-West of Europe. Although it seems like a whole continent separates us, our countries have more in common than anyone could think.”

The reaction of the embassy comes when president Basescu declared in Brussels on Friday that the stand of the Netherlands about Romania’s accession to Schengen was an abuse as Romania had legalized prostitution and the consumption of drugs out of lack of possibilities. Asked about talks and conclusions from the European Council about Schengen, Basescu said that the Netherlands had opposed Romania’s accession.

“It is an abuse made by the Netherlands,” Basescu said. He mentioned that “Romania has Albita and the Netherlands have Rotterdam.” “I am sorry ALbita is not the gyspsies’ entrance gate or that of alcohol and drugs,” Basescu said.The president wanted to point out that Romania still fights against prostitution and the consumption of drugs in its own way.

The ports of Rotterdam and Constanta signed a memorandum at the end of April in the presence of the minister of transports, Anca Boagiu and the minister of environment and infrastructure Melanie Schultz van Haegen.