Dutch to oppose Romania, Bulgaria's Schengen bid
The Dutch government will oppose bids by Romania and Bulgaria to enter Europe's visa-free Schengen zone, including a partial entry, when EU ministers meet next week, a spokeswoman said Friday.
"It was decided by the cabinet that we are still against the joining of Romania and Bulgaria," the Immigration Ministry's Elaine de Boer told AFP, adding: "we will not even approve the partial entry".
"As the Netherlands, we will be saying 'no' at the meeting planned in Brussels next week," she said, referring a planned talks between the bloc's interior ministers that will include a bid by the two countries to join the borderless zone.
Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers said in June, a day after a European Parliament vote supported quick entry by the pair, that the Netherlands opposed a decision before 2012.
Gaining membership of the Schengen area requires agreement from all 25 members, but Denmark, Finland, France, Germany and Sweden share Dutch reservations over Romania and Bulgaria's' capacity to control illegal immigration and crime.
© 2011 AFP