Before Prime Minister Ciolos visits Canada in mid-June, Canada has sent a technical mission to Bucharest that is going to arrive this week in order to evaluate the situation of the frontiers, the passport service and other technicalities concerning the circulation of the citizens.
This situation follows the negotiation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – CETA between the EU and Canada that eliminate customs taxes between the two, and will allow direct participation of the companies to public biddings, as well as liberalizing the services market.
In return, the EU has requested Canada to eliminate the travel visas for Romania and Bulgaria. This task has not been fulfilled; moreover, the Canadian authorities informed the European Commission that they have no intention in doing so, even though the EU had some statements on reintroducing a visa regime for USA and Canada as well.
Until the adoption on 12 of July, the Commission urged member states to debate on a unitary position concerning the free circulation regime of US and Canada citizens that travel to the EU.
According to our diplomats, the Romanian authorities were against the visit of the Canadians, declaring that Romania has already fulfilled all the technical conditions for Schengen and for any questions they should address to the European Commission. Eventually they accepted the visit, considering it is a mandatory beaurocratic step they need to take in order to form a decision.
Romanian and Bulgarian Prime Ministers Ciolos and Borisov are firm in blocking CETA if Canada does not find a solution as soon as possible.
by Mihaela Constantin