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On 1st January 2018, Bulgaria assumed the presidency of the European Council, a post it will hold until 30th June this year. Over the same period in 2019, the post will be held by Romania. That these two countries are taking the reins over the next year and a half is no coincidence – the presidency of the Council is a means of raising the profile of each country within the EU as both push for integration into the Schengen Area.
In a report published last year, the Henry Jackson Society concluded that “Romania is falsifying the results of its anti-corruption drive in order to secure accession to the Schengen zone. The EU’s willingness to believe the convenient fiction that progress is being made risks exposing it to a form of political contagion.”
Read more on New Europe