Romania and Bulgaria have once again been rejected from membership in Schengen. Details here: http://www.ceeinsight.net/2013/12/11/romania-bulgaria-rejected-schengen-entry/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ceeinsight+%28CEE+Insight%29
So as a reminder, we still have a Europe of multiple layers of equality between its members' citizens, residents and foreigners:
- The "Club Schengen"
- The Club "Better Than Other Foreigners", includes non-EU states that have Schengen access: Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein who are full Schengen, plus San Marino, Monaco and Vatican (which are de facto Schengen)
- The Club "Not Good Enough For Much": including Greenland, and Faroe Islands, French ex-European territories, Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten, the Caribbean Netherlands, Norway's Svalbard which all are parts of Schengen states, yet have no Schengen rights
- The Club "First Rate Foreigners": non-EU nationals resident in Schengen States who are granted Schengen rights
- The Club "Second Rate Easterners": EU member states with no Schengen access: Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia but are allowed visa-less travel
- The Club "Second Rate Westerners": EU member states residents who reside in non-Schengen countries such as UK and Ireland, who are married to a Schengen State national
- The Club "Third Rate Westerners": EU member states residents who reside in non-Schengen countries such as UK and Ireland, who have no rights to free travel whatsoever and require full visas, unless married to a Schengen State national
- The Club "Third Rate Easterners": EU member states residents with no citizenship (aka some national minorities in some Baltic States)
I'd say we have a pretty extreme case of the Abridged Seven Commandments of the Animal Farm where "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"... one might wonder if even Napoleon would find it hard to deal with eight tiers of 'equality'.