- Romania could soon join the Schengen area, the world’s largest visa-free zone, according to Romania’s Prime Minister Florin Cîțu.
- As Romania is an official Schengen candidate, travelers to Romania will be able to enjoy the benefits of ETIAS, the upcoming European visa waiver.
Romania is not a member of the Schengen Area, but it is a member of the European Union. Although the country has been a member of the EU since 2007, it has yet to join the borderless Schengen states.
It is unclear when Romania will join the Schengen Area, although Prime Minister Florin Cîţu has stated that it might happen soon. In a recent interview, Cîţu stated that if the CVM report is favourable, the nation would be ready to join the borderless travel zone within months.
WHEN WILL ROMANIA JOIN THE SCHENGEN AREA?
When Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report was established. Because both nations had work to do in areas such as judicial reform and corruption, the CVM was created as a tool to measure their progress.
The findings of Romania’s impending CVM report might be pivotal in the country’s attempt to join the Schengen Area. Prime Minister Cîţu is upbeat and feels the government is doing all possible to achieve the desired goals. According to Cîţu:
“We will do everything possible to obtain a favourable CVM report.” If all goes well, and we have already begun the process of abolishing the SIIJ, and we receive a favourable report, we may hope to resume the Schengen membership discussions this year.”
According to Prime Minister Florin Cîţu, the SIIJ, Romania’s contentious prosecutorial body, had been a source of contention. The repeal of the SIIJ was in accordance with the European Commission’s regulations, bringing Romania one step closer to joining the Schengen area.
Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner, supports Romania’s entrance to the Schengen Area. The Commissioner noted at the recent Schengen annual report conference:
“As you are aware, the Commission has determined that Romania is ready for Schengen in the previous 10 years.” We are attempting to encourage the Council to proceed, since it is past time for Romania to become a full member of Schengen.”
Romania will not be able to join the Schengen Area unless the European Council receives a unanimous approval of EU ministers.
WHAT JOINING SCHENGEN WOULD MEAN FOR ROMANIA
Romania will finally join the 26 EU states that now make up the unfettered Schengen travel zone after 15 years as an EU member.
The Schengen Area has no borders, therefore EU residents, non-EU nationals residing in the EU, and visitors from foreign countries have complete freedom of movement. Joining the Schengen Area will make travel between Romania and other EU countries easier.
While this facilitates travel to the nation, it does not ensure the greatest standards of safety and security.
The European Union (EU) will introduce the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) in November 2023 to address this issue. ETIAS is a visa waiver system that will pre-screen all foreign people who arrive in Europe without a visa to guarantee they do not represent a health or security risk.
Although Romania is not yet a full member of the Schengen Area, it will benefit from ETIAS’s increased safety and security.
ETIAS enables visitors from third countries that do not require visas to enter Romania for up to 90 days out of every 180 days while still having unfettered access to the rest of the Schengen Area.
HOW ROMANIA JOINING THE SCHENGEN AREA WILL AFFECT TRAVELLERS
Despite the fact that Romania has not yet completely joined the Schengen Area, visa-exempt third-country citizens will be needed to register for ETIAS Romania before entering the country beginning in November 2023.
ETIAS is not a visa, and Romania’s entry criteria will continue to allow eligible tourists and business visitors to stay in Romania for short periods of time without requiring a visa.
ETIAS registration will be quick and entirely online. Visitors who have been approved will be awarded a European visa waiver valid for stays of up to 90 days every 180-day period anywhere in the Schengen Area.
Travelers will be allowed to enter Romania and visit any of the other ETIAS countries using the same Romania visa waiver for Europe. Border checks between Romania and Schengen nation Hungary would be eliminated.
CAN I TRAVEL TO ROMANIA WITH A SCHENGEN VISA?
Visitors from countries that do not qualify for visa-free entry must get a visa to enter Romania.
Despite the fact that Romania has not yet joined the Schengen Area, foreigners with a valid Schengen visa can enter the country. For short stays, a multiple-entry Romania Schengen visa is valid.
Non-exempt tourists will need Schengen visas once Romania becomes a full Schengen member.
The maximum stay permissible with a Schengen visa is 90 days every 180 days; to remain longer or work in Romania, a Romanian visa or other authorisation is necessary.
ROMANIA AIMS TO ADOPT THE EURO BY 2027
When Romania joined the European Union in 2007, it pledged to use the euro. Despite the fact that the epidemic has slowed development, Cîţu believes the country will be ready to join the Eurozone in the coming years:
“The coronavirus problem has slowed the march to the eurozone. We will do everything possible to attain this aim, but true convergence is required. We will make up for the gap between 2021 and 2024, but we must keep in mind that joining the eurozone will be conceivable only after 2024.”
According to the Prime Minister, “we might enter the eurozone after 2024-2025 and be able to adopt the euro in 2027 or 2028.”
Romania presently satisfies some criteria for entering the Eurozone, but there are still others that the country does not match.
The euro would take the place of Romania’s national currency, the Romanian Leu.