Luxembourg backs Romania, Bulgaria Schengen hopes

15th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Luxembourg supports the efforts of Romania and Bulgaria to join the visa-free Schengen area in the coming months, Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said Tuesday in Bucharest.

"Luxembourg will do everything so that Bulgaria and Romania become members of the Schengen system in the coming months", Asselborn said in a joint press statement with Romanian counterpart Teodor Baconschi.

"Romania proves everyday that it knows how to manage the system, de facto you are already connected to Schengen," he said, adding that "in Europe it would be better to sometimes put national politics behind European politics."

"We will strongly support you so that in a few months this would be a bad memory and that you would become members of the Schengen area," Asselborn said, stressing that "there are no favoured or disadvantaged countries, we are all on the same line" in the EU.

Bucharest and Sofia were initially hoping to be admitted in March to the visa-free Schengen area, which took its name from a town in Luxembourg.

But several countries including France and Germany have voiced their opposition, saying Romania and Bulgaria first need to make progress in the fight against corruption and organised crime.

© 2011 AFP

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