The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council Thursday left for September at the latest its decision on the accession to the Schengen Agreement of Bulgaria and Romania.
Expectations that Thursday's Council would set a date for the two countries' accession followed a remark to that effect by MEP Carlos Coelho a day earlier when the EP adopted a resolution is support of accession.
Gerd Leers, the Dutch Minister of Immigration and Asylum Affairs, commented that now was too early to make a decision and that a decision would take some time before the Council is ready. He also said that the reports prepared under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (for progress in reforming the judiciary and fighting organized crime and corruption) are being carefully analyzed, and that the next report is due shortly.
French Interior Minister Claude Gueant told the press that Bulgaria and Romania could get a two-stage accession as was proposed by Germany earlier this year, with the opening of the air and maritime borders in the first stage and of land borders in the second. He added that only after the European Commission put out their Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report in July 2012, will it be possible to say when the land borders will come down. (Source: BTA)