The Schengen enlargement has been included on the agenda of the European summit on March 1-2, according to a letter of the European Council president published in Brussels on Wednesday. The issue - which practically means the Dutch opposition to the Schengen accession of Romania and Bulgaria - was introduced unexpectedly on the agenda of a summit which was to focus mainly on the Fiscal Treaty. The change comes a day after Romania flexed its muscle on Serbia at negotiations over giving the Balkan country the statute of a EU candidate country. The only Romanian official to connect the two issues, Schengen and Serbia, was Romanian Environment minister Laszlo Borbely.
Asked by journalist about the fact that in an invitation sent by Council President Van Rompuy to heads of state and government for the Brussels summit the Schengen issue appeared, a day after Romania's pressure on Serbia, one of the European Commission spokespersons said that a discussion on the subject was due to take place.
Romanian Environment minister Laszlo Borbely (of the Hungarian Democrats in Romania - UDMR) said on a public TV station on Tuesday evening that Romania's position regarding the minorities in Serbia may be linked to Romania's Schengen accession. He said he believed the stance on Serbia was a tactical position related to Schengen so that "one understands that Romania is the seventh EU country, it's a large country and should behave as such, even if we have issues economically speaking".
Romania blocked on Tuesday giving Serbia the statute of a European accession candidate. The 27 EU Foreign ministers eventually "recommended" giving Serbia the statute at the EU summit on March 1-2.
Romanian Foreign minister Cristian Diaconescu said on Tuesday evening that Serbia should sign a bilateral protocol with Romania on the rights of minorities before the start of the EU summit on Thursday.