EUROPEAN COUNCIL : SCHENGEN EXPANSION: PRESSURE BUILDING ON THE DUTCH.

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The heads of state and government, meeting at the European Council on 9 December 2011, called on the Council to adopt "as soon as possible" the decision on the admission of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area. In the absence of a decision, the matter will be discussed again at the March European Council, state the 27 leaders, who send a strong signal to the Netherlands, the last hold-out country. The decision on the two-stage admission of Sofia and Bucharest requires unanimity.

The leaders are clear: the two countries in question have fulfilled "all the legal conditions". The matter was discussed at the Home Affairs Council, on 13 December.

Despite the rising pressure, the Netherlands does not intend to change its position. Although these countries meet all the legal criteria for entry into the Schengen area, they are not prepared to provide effective surveillance of the Union's external borders due to problems of...

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