While on his first visit to Slovakia yesterday, Romanian foreign minister Teodor Baconschi got the full support of his Slovak counterpart Mikulas Dzurinda for Romania’s inclusion in the Schengen zone.
Dzurinda noted that Slovakia and Romania have a lot in common, while Baconschi said the two countries share similar opinions on many issues, including expansion of the EU. Slovakia was one of the first countries to ratify Romania’s EU accession.
Romania was hoping to join the Schengen zone in March this year, but the plans were put on freeze by Germany and France, which demanded the elimination of certain shortcomings concerning organised crime and corruption. Dzurinda said Romania’s path to joining the Schengen zone should not be made more difficult by putting additional conditions on the country.
The issue of Kosovo was another of the key points of their discussions, and they are calling on constructive dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo. Dzurinda pointed out that the objective was not about recognising Kosovo’s independence, but to play an active role in ensuring Serbia and Pristina can reach a mutually acceptable and lasting peaceful agreement.
Other issues included energy security, the Danube Strategy and the issue of Roma inclusion in the EU. The two men also agreed to boost trade and cultural exchange. Romania is hoping to enter the eurozone in 2015.
Baconschi’s also opened a special exhibition on the 90 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, with important documents and pictures from this period.