about us | newsletter | contact | archive | members area
Dan Boiangiu, Arval
Public and private investment seems to re-gain a proper focus»
  Features:      COUNTRY FOCUS   |   SECTOR ANALYSIS   |

Is West Europe threat against Romanian fitness for Schengen no more than populist self-interest?

Romania and Bulgaria are suffering pressure from north European countries to step up measures against corruption, organised crime and border control – or risk delay in being allowed into the Schengen free movement of space

February 2011 - From the Print Edition

However it is tough to disentangle whether these countries’ Governments are genuinely concerned about the local situation in Romania or whether they are exploiting graft, crime and the fear of terrorism as an excuse to appeal to the prejudices that much of their electorate has about Romania and Bulgaria.
There are legitimate reasons to question Romania’s record on anti-corruption. France and Germany see Romania and Bulgaria as as extension of their own borders, and would not tolerate corruption at the edge of their own nation. They have the right to ask Bucharest and Sofia - are there enough qualified and honest Romanian and Bulgarian personnel to police the borders of France, Germany and Holland? If the quality of the rule of law is still questioned by the European Commission in these two youngest member states of the EU, how can we trust in these nations’ security?
However the approach of western European countries on Romania and Bulgaria’s entry into the Schengen zone is also cynical.
With trade and investment barriers open, Paris and Berlin have nothing to gain from the two nations’ entry into Schengen – but they do have something to lose.
A strong public perception in parts of western Europe is that Romania and Bulgaria were allowed into the EU prematurely, that they have carried out only superficial reforms to appeal to Brussels-based bureaucrats and that they export crime.
If they are allowed into Schengen, there is a populist worry that a flood of Romanian and Bulgarians, starving, hysterical, naked, will be dragging themselves through the streets of Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam armed with begging bowls, puppies, babies and accordions, each one fuelling the ire of the population and hardening the language of far right polemic.
But there is a bitter irony in France and Germany’s frustration with Romanian reform. France and Germany have both profited from Romania’s choice to join the Schengen zone over the last six years. In 2004, their joint-defence company EADS signed a long-term contract worth over one billion Euro with the Romanian Ministry of Administration and Internal Affairs to provide an integrated solution for border surveillance and security – a necessary component for Romania’s European integration ambitions.
To Bucharest, it may look as though Berlin and Paris demanded that Romania freely accept their nation’s businesses to operate in the territory of Romania to secure the borders of the EU, but in return, would not allow Romanians and Bulgarians free passage into their own countries – which was precisely the point of the deal to secure the borders in the first place.
By embarassing a Government which contains an element supportive of this reformist zeal, this request for a delay could also undermine Bucharest’s fragile but determined efforts to tackle graft. Since 2005 Romania has carried out strong efforts to boost its woeful rate on anti-corruption. Last year it oversaw the election of a new team to run the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) – the body which monitors the behaviour of judges and prosecutors - with a young reformist judge heading up the team, as opposed to last year - when the CSM was run by a former member of the Communist secret police. This election is now contested, but it is a step forward.
Every week, Romania’s active National Anti-Corruption Department secures the arrest of a bent civil servant or a dodgy mayor and, yes, they are finally securing prison sentences. It may not be enough, but it is progress.

Michael Bird



COMMENTS
There are 0 comments:

 
ADD A COMMENT
 
Name
Email
Comment
Validation Code
   
 
 

0 Comments  |  8632 Views
Daily Info
Transelectrica accelerates investments to increase the energy system safety in Dobrogea

The National Power Grid Company Transelectrica marked the completion of the second stage of the project of rehabilitation of the Station Transformation 400/110/20 kV Tulcea We...

CTP: smart expansion in a growing market

CTP, the most dynamic logistics and industrial parks developer in the country, will soon become a "millionaire" in square meters of premium logistics space. The company experi...

New regulations adopted by ANRE will have a strong negative impact on consumers and endanger 4.500 jobs, says ACUE

The electricity distributors members of the Federation of Associations of Energy Utility Companies (ACUE) are deeply concerned about the negative impact on networks and consum...

President Iohannis: Interconnection projects revealed at Three Seas Initiative summit are a top level political signal

The list of priority interconnection projects presented within the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative is "a top level political signal", on Tuesday stated Klaus Iohannis, in ...

Vodafone to lay off 1,700 service center employees in Romania, India and Egypt

Vodafone, one of the biggest telecom groups in the world, will lay off 1,700 employees from its service centers in Romania, India and Egypt, in this financial year, the group'...

 
 
   
advertising

advertising

advertising

advertising

advertising

More on Features
US calls for coherent, long-term strategy

As USA celebrates 4th of July, its eyes are wide open on the latest developments in Romania's ongoing struggle for the rule of law. Still, the country is one of the fastest...

French investments at a glance: Interest still high

France, Romania's fourth largest foreign direct investor, has been around since the early 1990s, with flagship names the likes of Societe Generale or Groupe Renault taking ...

Romanian energy industry: Challenges to Overcome

With a national strategy draft still to be approved, Romania faces many challenges, as the energy market is striving to find a way to attract major investments that are cri...

Rising potential for green developments

With GDP growth outperforming neighbouring CEE countries by a significant extent, 2017 was very good for the real estate market in Romania, especially for the office, inves...

EnergyPal: The market must invest in innovation and develop worker qualifications

Romania's facility management sector in 2017 has seen changes in terms of increased market dynamic due to new office developments and also logistic sector growth, according...

Romanian office market ripening, in both leasing and acquisition

From the investment standpoint, lower rates of return and increased liquidity lure the investors, Andreea Paun, Managing Partner, Griffes said in an interview for The Diplo...

ISS: External FM market volume will grow as more Western European FM companies open subsidiaries in Romania

In the last few years as well as in 2017, the Romanian FM market has been in the process of maturing, focusing more and more on quality, efficiency and added value, demandi...