German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his support for Romania’s accession to the Schengen Zone during his visit to Bucharest.
Scholz met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, and Moldovan President Maia Sandu, emphasizing that Germany wants Romania to become a part of the borderless area of Schengen this year.
Romanian leaders also stressed the importance of continuing the EU enlargement process and fulfilling commitments to the Western Balkans.
Meanwhile, Spanish Foreign Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska reiterated his country’s support for Romania and Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen Zone.
Grande-Marlaska’s comments came following a work meeting held with his Romanian and Bulgarian counterparts ahead of the Spanish Presidency of the EU in the second half of this year.
Both Romania and Bulgaria have been attempting to join the Schengen Zone for years now; however, such a process has not been finalized yet.
Last year, Austria blocked the accession of these two Balkan countries into the Schengen Zone. Austria opposed Romania’s accession to Schengen after concerns about the rising tide of illegal migration through Bulgaria and Romania.
But last month, the President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, stressed that both Romania and Bulgaria are ready to become part of the Schengen Area, disassociating himself from the comments of the country’s chancellor, Karl Nehammer, who stressed that he continues to remain against the further expansion of Schengen.