Europe has endured a brutal battle with coronavirus over the past months as the continent has suffered greatly due to the outbreak. As countries in the continent begin to relax lockdown measures, it has again sparked debate on smooth travel between countries. Romanian MEP Dacian Ciolos detailed his journey to Brussels during the pandemic and raised concerns on the possible discrimination countries like his, Bulgaria and Croatia could face from the European Union in the future.
During Mr Ciolos’s journey to Brussels, he illustrated the difficulty facing citizens and the fears he has for travel in the future.
In his travel video, Mr Ciolos said: “I left Bucharest on Friday at noon and after 20 hours, I arrived in Brussels.
“Crossing Romania in the middle of a pandemic is a unique adventure, which I tried to document on video.
“The most intense border control was at Nadlac and we arrived, after more than 6 hours of travel from Bucharest, to Nadlac Customs.
“As you can see, there is a big queue, it is 8:30 and we have to leave Romania and enter Hungary before 10pm so we can catch the Green Corridor.
“In one night I passed through 3 border points and as just as many checkpoints, which I perceived to have decreasing intensity.”
Despite being a member of the European Union, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria are not members of Schengen area.
This means these countries are not able to benefit from the free and unrestricted movement of people.
“Every measure has to be based on our guidelines and has to be non-discriminatory in nature.”
Romanian MEP Dragos Tudorache explained that Schengen members are now beginning to understand the experiences of non-Schengen member states due to coronavirus.
He said: “What has been happening over the last two months for all EU citizens, has been happening for the citizens of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia for the last 12, 13 years.”
Romania and Bulgaria officially joined the European Union in 2007 but concerns over rule of law have hindered their accession to the Schengen area.