Romanian President Klaus Iohannis (R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attend a joint press conference at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace in Bucharest, Romania, on April 3, 2023. (Photo by Cristian Cristel/Xinhua)
BUCHAREST, April 3 (Xinhua) — Germany is backing Romania in its bid to join the Schengen Area this year, visiting Chancellor Olaf Scholz said here on Monday.
“Germany is firmly on Romania’s side. This also means (…) the goal of Romania finally obtaining full Schengen membership this year,” Scholz said in a joint press statement with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, after talks at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
Iohannis said: “Romania fulfills its role as a guarantor of security at the external border, something recognized at the European level, and joining Schengen will strengthen this area.”
Meanwhile, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca expressed his appreciation for Germany’s support for Romania’s accession to the Schengen area during talks with Scholz.
The two sides also confirmed the importance of continuing the European Union (EU) enlargement process, and of fulfilling commitments to the Western Balkans.
Romania joined the EU in 2007, but is one of the four EU countries that are not included in the Schengen Area. ■