BUCHAREST, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Romania doesn't want to be in Schengen as a problem, but as part of a solution for improving safety in the free movement area, stressed President Klaus Iohannis on Friday.
"Being part of the Schengen area is a desideratum that we have from the very beginning and we have worked in that direction," the president told the joint conference with visiting President of the European Commission (EC) Jean Claude Juncker.
"Initially, Schengen was an agreement that required certain criteria, which Romania did met in 2011," he said, complaining that Romania and Bulgaria were not accepted as members for the reason that adhesion depends on the vote of all the Schengen members, although the two countries have fulfilled all the conditions set by the Schengen agreement.
According to the president, Romania since then has been trying to convince its friends and partners that it is a serious and safe country, which observes the rules imposed by the Schengen area and relies on the EU values.
"Progress is still to be expected," said the president, stressing that his country hasn't given up and will continue to talk with everybody to convince them that "Romania does not want to be in Schengen as a problem, but as part of a solution for improving safety in the Schengen area."
The concern of Iohannis was echoed by Juncker, who voiced his hope that Romania will enter the Schengen area by the end of the current Commission's mandate.
Juncker repeatedly emphasized his hope at the joint press conference with Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila.
"If I could voice a wish, it would be that during the mandate of this Commission, Romania should join the Schengen Area," said the European official, adding that "I see no reasons for which certain governments obstinately refuse this."
"We are keeping in touch with the most refractory and we are trying to convince them to say 'yes' for Romania's accession to the Schengen Area," he concluded.
Schengen accession has been a long process for Romania and Bulgaria, whose entry into the border-free area has been constantly delayed since 2011, despite Bucharest and Sofia authorities' claims that they had done all the needed preparations.
Currently, citizens of the two countries are allowed visa-free entry into the Schengen zone and there are eased accesses to Romania and Bulgaria for Schengen visa holders, but the two European Union member countries are not full members of the Schengen system.
The Schengen zone, which currently embraces 26 European countries, acknowledges the abolishment of their internal borders with other member nations and outside, for the free and unrestricted movement of people, goods, services and capital.