A report released by the German news agency dpa stirred up controversy in Romania on Thursday morning. According to the agency, the Hungarian Interior minister allegedly declared that Brussels already decided to postpone Romania’s adhesion to Schengen and that it could join Schengen in October 2011 the earliest. A transcript of the statements, obtained by HotNews.ro contradicts the version of the dpa agency.
The facts, in short
The German news agency, dpa, released a report news earlier today quoting Hungarian Interior minister Sandor Pinter allegedly saying that Romania and Bulgaria’s adhesion to Schengen was postponed.
The statement was made in a press conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest on Wednesday. The conference was organized for the Brussels correspondents of international news agencies which explains why the news did not make it to local Hungarian news.
HotNews.ro contacted the Hungarian Interior minister on Thursday morning to confirm the information. A spokesperson declared that the ministry will issue a press release later today and said that most probably the declarations of the Interior minister were misread by the German agency.
Hotnews.ro attempted to contact the correspondent of the German news agency DPA but she could not be reached. Meanwhile, Hungarian Embassy to Bucharest declared, through Hungarian Democrat deputy Attila Korodi that the German agency misinterpreted the statements.
Romanian Foreign Affairs minister refused to take an official stand, declaring that the ministry was waiting for the transcript of the statements made by the Hungarian official. HotNews.ro obtained the transcript of the press conference and there is no understanding that Brussels took such a decision, nor does the deadline October 2011 appear.
When asked by the foreign correspondent about Romania and Bulgaria and their chances to join Schengen considering that France and Germany opposes, Pinter said, according to the transcript, that efforts have been made in both countries to join Schengen. He said that even though Germany and France made their point clear, there still is a set of steps and procedures which must be made.
He added that experts will issue an official and final opinion at the end of January and only then will the issue of adhesion be debated in the Council, based on the conclusions. Pinter said that by June the latest, the EU needs to adopt a political statement to sketch the necessary conditions which the two countries must meet and what are the deadlines to modify the opinion of France and Germany.