Romania is not yet a member of the Schengen Agreement and when will Romania Join the Schengen Zone is dependent on whether or not they will fulfill all of the requirements in order to enter. However, there has been much speculation about their potential future membership. The country has been working on meeting the membership requirements since 2007 and is making steady progress.
When Will Romania and Bulgaria Join Schengen?
Romania and Bulgaria are two of the few Eastern European countries that are not yet members of the Schengen agreement. Both have spent years trying to join the agreement but have been unable to meet the requirements.
These requirements include a high level of cooperation with other member states in policing and security, as well as a low level of corruption in public institutions and government agencies.
So, when will Romania join the Schengen Area? It has been in the EU since 2007 but has yet to be a member of the Schengen Agreement, which is a border-free zone for 26 European countries. While there are a few reasons Romania has not joined, the main one is that they are yet to meet the requirements.
To be part of the Schengen Agreement, countries must meet the following criteria:
- Be well-governed and democratic,
- Have well-functioning institutions and a system that guarantees respect for human rights,
- Have an effective border control system, and
- Be able combat terrorism and organized crime.
Why is Schengen Membership Important for Romania and Bulgaria?
The Schengen Agreement was signed in 1985 in the aftermath of that year’s European Commission report, “European Economic Area: Proposal for a Council Regulation on a Common Travel Area,” which envisions the abolition internal border controls and a common visa policy. The Agreement was further developed by the Schengen Convention and then signed on June 14th, 1985 by five of the EEC member states (Belgium, France, West Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) as well as by Italy and Portugal. The Schengen Treaty took effect on March 25th, 1995.
It is an agreement among 26 European countries to abolish border controls and allow free movement of goods and people. It has been in effect since 1995.
Romania is not yet a member of the Schengen Area, but it has been negotiating its entry for years.
Benefits of Schengen Membership
There clear benefits of joining:
- Romania will have access to a market of 500 million consumers,
- Its citizens will enjoy visa-free travel throughout Europe, and
- It will be able to export goods without customs restrictions or taxes.
Additionally, they will participate in the ETIAS visa waiver program, which would make traveling to Romania much easier for visitors. Here are some benefits of joining the Schengen Area:
- The abolition of passport checks and other forms of border control and the members’ mutual borders;
- The elimination of systematic internal border controls (meaning all Schengen members have the same external border controls);
- Freedom to travel across the shared external borders without time limits or a passport, or identification documents;
- A common set of rules regarding asylum and visas for short- and long-term stays in any country within the Schengen Area;
- A common set of rules regarding border checks when entering and exiting the country; and
- The establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard under the authority of the Schengen countries’ interior ministries.
Final Thoughts: When Will Romania Join the Schengen Area?
Romania will become part of the Schengen Area. It will join a zone where people can travel without border controls. However, it will have to meet certain criteria before joining the area.
Romania need to meet the requirements of the Schengen Agreement by:
- Strengthening its cooperation with Europol and Eurojust,
- Improving its judicial cooperation in criminal matters,
- Ensuring border control and external border management cooperation with other Schengen states, and
- Implementing legislation on European arrest warrant and extradition agreements.