“Through today’s vote we are being true to our principles and our promises to both Bulgaria and Romania that if they have fulfilled the criteria to be part of the Schengen zone we should not invent new obstacles to their accession.” said ALDE coordinator in the Civil Liberties Committee, Renate Weber (PNL, Romania) after today’s European Parliament vote in favour of the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis to Bulgaria and Romania.

“Bulgaria and Romania have made considerable efforts to meet the Schengen acquis. Now it is up to the Council to give the green light or clearly explain to the Parliament, and especially to Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, what justifies the continued second class status.” she concluded

“Whilst neither Bulgaria nor Romania are free from corruption the same could be said of several older Member States but that is not an excuse for blocking Schengen accession. The answer to cross border crime is better police cooperation, not retaining the artificial barriers affecting all citizens of the two countries that joined the EU four years ago. Bulgaria and Romania should not become the scapegoats.” said ALDE MEP Stanimir Ilchev (NMSP, Bulgaria)