Members of the Schengen evaluation group adopted on Friday the technical report on the implementation in Romania of necessary systems to join Schengen, Marian Tutilescu, head of the Schengen Department in Romania's Interior and Administration Ministry, has told Sources in Brussels said that Bulgaria's two technical reports have been postponed as Sofia is "surprisingly" late in providing answers to experts' requests.

In a January 14 meeting, the representative of France demanded supplementary time to study Romania's report, thus blocking its adoption.

The adoption of the technical report is a sine qua non condition for Schengen accession. But it is not enough, as the final vote, to be given by the Justice and Home Affairs Council, is a political one.

France and Germany have been opposing Romania's Schengen accession and for it to happen the unanimous vote of the JHA Council is needed.

Prior to the vote, Marian Tutilescu explained the possible calendar of Romania's Schengen accession: once the reports are adopted, the vote of the European Parliament takes place. The EP has been notified about the draft decision and talks are currently taking place. Following the EP vote, the issue returns to the European Council for in depth talks. It's a tight calendar and unfortunately the only JHA Council before March 27, when we would still be able to discuss accession, takes place on February 24.

France and Germany have been considering that Romania and Bulgaria should be allowed into Schengen only when they report progress in the fight against corruption and the reform of the judiciary. Finland has joined the two countries and has opposed the accession of the two countries in the Schengen area of free movement of people as well.