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Fact finding mission certifies Romania meeting all conditions applying Schengen acquis

Romania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) says that the recent complementary voluntary fact-finding mission to Romania by European experts certifies that Romania continues to meet all the necessary conditions for the full application of the Schengen acquis, including in terms of visa policy and data protection.

In a press statement released on Wednesday, MAE welcomes the report of the complementary voluntary fact-finding mission to Romania on the application of the Schengen acquis and its developments since 2011, a mission carried out simultaneously in Bucharest and Istanbul.

It says that the mission was carried out by a team consisting of experts from the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, together with two European Council experts, and seven experts from the European Commission.

The mission was organised as a result of the openness expressed by Romania after another voluntary visit October 9-11, to provide any additional information and facilitate any steps that would allow the European partners to formulate a political decision in favour of Romania's accession to the Schengen area.

The distinct component regarding the visa policy looked at the consular activity of visa issuing and the management of the Information System regarding visas and compliance with data protection regulations.

"The conclusions of the visit to the two components confirm the implementation and strict and full compliance by Romania, via MAE, of the procedures provided for by the relevant European legislation in the process of receiving, processing and analysing visa applications, as well as the fact that these procedures are followed in a solid manner, based on well-reasoned decisions, appropriate professional training of the consular staff, as well as an exemplary IT infrastructure. Also, the experts appreciated Romania, including the MAE following the relevant provisions of the European legislation regarding data protection."

These conclusions are also a reconfirmation of the positive results of the intense efforts undertaken by MAE in recent years for the modernisation, debureaucratisation, digital transformation and enhanced efficiency of consular activity, including in the process of visa issuing in accordance with the European acquis and to the benefit of the citizens.

"MAE is voicing satisfaction over the fact that the European experts who participated in the complementary evaluation mission in Bucharest and Istanbul reconfirmed that Romania still meets all the necessary conditions for the full application of the Schengen acquis, including in terms of visa policy and data protection. Thus, this complementary fact-finding mission reinforces the findings in the report drawn up after the voluntary visit on October 2022, a report published on November 16, 2022, together with a communication of the European Commission regarding the extension of the Schengen area, thus reconfirming the objective and fully justified nature of Romania's active steps for Schengen accession."

MAE also voices confidence that the results of the complementary visit will be analysed with particular attention and openness by all European partners in the sense of recognising the definite added value that Romania will bring, through its accession to the Schengen area, to the security of this area and the European Union overall.

MAE says that it will continue its sustained efforts to promote the goal of Romania's accession to the Schengen area being achieved.

After the publication by the European Commission on November 16 of a communication called "Making Schengen stronger: Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia are ready to fully participate in the Schengen area," a complementary fact-finding mission took place on November 17 simultaneously in Bucharest and Istanbul to get additional information regarding the application of the Schengen acquis, especially in the areas of visas and data protection.

As part of the complementary mission, Romania provided specific information regarding judicial cooperation in criminal matters with the other member states.

As far as the MAE powers are concerned, the mission operated on two levels of simultaneous verification, and included a meeting in Bucharest on personal data protection that checked compatibility between Romania's National Visa Information System and the centralised system used by the Schengen member states, and a visit to the headquarters of the Consulate General of Romania in Istanbul, where visa applications are received and processed and visas are issued. 




Thursday, November 24, 2022