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Pierre Lequiller: No connection between MCV and Romania's Schengen Area accession

Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs of the French National Assembly Pierre Lequiller underscored on Monday in Bucharest that there is no judicial connection between the Roma issue or the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification in the field of judiciary and Romania's accession to the Schengen Area.

'To me, there is no judicial connection between the Roma issue and the Schengen accession. The Schengen matter is a different one that has to be analysed by Romania and the relevant European institutions. My stance is that there is a judicial separation between justice matters and the Schengen Area, but there is the risk of some political issue arising from another level, as I have heard them say in Europe. My opinion is that should not be the case and that is what France also says,' Lequiller said in reply to a question where Romania's accession to the Schengen Area could be influenced by the MCV.

He underscored that Romania still has progress to achieve in its judiciary and it is in Romania's interest to do so.'I believe that it really is in Romania's best interest to achieve progress in the judiciary, in its fight against corruption and the dispensation of justice. I am not here to judge the decisions taken by the European Commission,' said Lequiller on a working visit to Bucharest.

On Monday, Aurescu met in Bucharest Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs of the French National Assembly Pierre Lequiller to introduce the nationwide measures that are part of the preparations for accession to the Schengen Area.

Regarding the institutional aspects generated by the enforcement of the Lisbon Treaty, particularly getting the European External Action Service operational, the two officials underscored the need to find a balanced representation of the member states, including of the newcomers, in order to consolidate the representative character of the new EU diplomatic service. At the same time, the two discussed European cooperation in the area of social inclusion, underscoring the common vision over the future of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy and the Cohesion Policy as well as the vision over the European Common Security and Defence Policy.

Aurescu mentioned in this context the need for the EU to capitalise on its niche expertise in the area of crisis management, pointing to Romania's substantial contribution. Romania is ranked third in terms of participation in the civilian missions of the EU.Aurescu also voiced Romania's hope over the NATO Lisbon Summit passing a political decision about the creation of a NATO anti-missile system.

The two officials discussed other current topics of mutual interest as well that are on the agenda of the strategic partnership between Romania and France, including high-level bilateral dialogue, cooperation in the fields of energy and economy, cooperation between France and Romania in the context of the new EU Financial Perspective 2014-2020.