MORE than 12 years after joining the European Union, Romanians are getting increasingly grumpy.

Romania pulled off a successful six month presidency of the European Union, its first time in that role, and has made considerable progress integrating into Europe.

Romanian officials have important jobs in Brussels, including Mircea Geonna, who was just named deputy secretary general of NATO, the first person from the old Eastern Bloc to have the job.

But many in Romania and Bulgaria, which both joined the European Union in 2007, feel that they remain under probation, as second-class citizens.

They have not been allowed to join the Schengen zone of passport-free travel, and they are still under a special program to monitor corruption.

Romanians acknowledge continuing problems with corruption and oligarchy - after all, the man once considered to be the most powerful politician in the country, Liviu Dragnea, the head of the largest party, the Social Democrats, is serving a prison term for the abuse of power.

But they argue that Romania is making considerable progress and that admission to the Schengen zone shouldn't hinge on the corruption problems.

The country has long borders, but it has invested heavily in protecting them, and Romanians tend to think that they have as much right to be part of the passport-free zone as Schengen members like Hungary, which has similar problems with corruption and is seen as a bigger violator of the rule of law, not to mention Norway and Iceland, which are not members of the European Union.

Romania and Bulgaria were judged by the European Commission to have met all necessary technical conditions for full Schengen membership as far back as 2011. No other countries considered to have met the criteria have been kept out.

''We see it as discrimination,'' George Ciamba, the Romanian minister for European affairs, said in an interview. ''We showed solidarity during the migration crisis and took people from boats in Malta, and we expect this solidarity to be returned.

But the migration crisis has complicated matters, he said, noting that, ''Political correctness now means that you can be tougher on fellow Europeans.''

After 12 years in the bloc, - Romania, the nation is bristling over its low-tier status.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on E.U. Members and Equality,  continues.The World Students Society thanks author Steven Erlanger.


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