Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the EC, recently declared to a French tv station that most likely Romania and Bulgaria will not join the Schengen Area next year because "there are countries that are against".

In September this year however, in an interview with Bulgarian National Radio, Barroso said that Romania and Bulgaria have met the criteria for Schengen membership and should be given a chance to enter the zone as soon as possible.

In 2011, the two countries were refused access because the Netherland and France have opposed. The main complaints were about the high corruption levels and the lack of solid actions, in Bucharest and Sofia, against organised crime.

Are Romania and Bulgaria ready to join the Schengen Area?

Is EU applying discriminatory criteria against the two countries, as the Romanian President Traian Basescu declared?