The Cyprus News Agency asked Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner, whilst presenting the package to strengthen the area of free movement in the EU, “Is Cyprus ready to enter the Schengen Area?” and her response to the question was “Cyprus is not yet ready.”  Ylva pointed out, “Cyprus is not yet able to be assessed and are not considered ready to enter the Schengen area at the moment.”

Vice-President Margaritis Schinas added that, “in this revised strategy, for us, the enlargement of Schengen is a priority for three countries; Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia,” when asked the same question.  He also stated, “as you know, the final decision is not up to us, but we constantly support the need for this enlargement and we are of the opinion that the facts show the three states are ready to join.”

In concluding, the Vice-President stated, “now, in relation to Cyprus, it is a different situation because you know that Cyprus also has this peculiarity with a green line, as well as other types of situations that have an impact.  But clearly; in the order of enlargement, Cyprus comes to point four and yes, Cyprus does remain a candidate for Schengen.”