Friedrich said that German government wanted Romania and Bulgaria to fulfill certain conditiones before the enlargement of Schengen. Until now the two countries were denied Schengen membership on several occasions mainly over the opposition of the Netherlands on grounds even though they have fulfilled the technical requirements, they cannot secure their borders over lack of progress in the fight against corruption and crime.
EU interior and justice ministers meet in Brussels on Thursday with this issue on the agenda.
“Should Romania and Bulgaria insist upon a vote [at the meeting], then the proposal will fail by virtue of a German veto,” Friedrich told Spiegel. ” Even the possibility of partial approval – for arrival by air, or seaports – is off the table.”
Friedrich said that both countries still had work to do on the other preconditions for Schengen membership, saying this was why Germany would block an eventual motion at the present time.
He also sought to ward off warnings of economic migration from two of the EU’s poorest members.
“The right to freedom of movement means that every EU citizen can live in every member state, if they are working or studying there. Any EU citizen who fulfills these criteria is welcome here,” Friedrich said. “But whoever is only coming to cash in on state benefits, and is therefore abusing this freedom of movement, needs to be meaningfully prevented.”
At the beginning of the year, the Irish Presidency of the European Union distributed a program, according to which the enlargement of Schengen and Bulgaria’s andRomania’s membership was included in the agenda of the above summit.