Bulgaria and Romania will partially join the Schengen area: what is known
The Schengen area, which is a symbol of free movement in Europe, is preparing to expand. According to the latest reports, Bulgaria is planning a partial accession to the Schengen area, starting in March 2024. This decision is the result of lengthy diplomatic agreements and joint efforts to strengthen European integration and cooperation. Learn more about the key aspects of this decision, its possible impact and future prospects
Bulgaria is approaching a historic moment - partial accession to the Schengen area, scheduled for March 2024. The decision to introduce air and sea borders into the Schengen area has already been confirmed by Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov, which has become a key step in the country's integration into the European free movement area.
The Schengen area is a symbol of unity and free movement among the European Union countries, and Bulgaria's partial accession is an important step on its way to full membership. The two-step accession process, starting with the opening of air and sea routes, sets out a clear plan and demonstrates the countries' determination to join the Schengen family, which will facilitate better information and procedural exchange between them and other members of the zone.
Prime Minister's comment on Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area
Nikolai Denkov, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, at a briefing stated the importance of further steps towards accession to the Schengen area. Starting in March 2024, accession by air and sea will be the first stage of this process. Denkov emphasized the importance of results in cooperation with Austria and setting a date for the removal of land border barriers in 2024.
Austria has pledged to support Bulgaria and other EU countries in the negotiations, calling on the European Commission to provide Sofia with funding, technical support and experts to strengthen its external borders. The prime minister also emphasized that there are no plans to weaken the land borders between Sofia and Bucharest, and that attention is being paid to improving control over the illegal entry of migrants.
Obstacles to Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area
The problems of illegal migration have determined the next steps for Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area. Austria and the Netherlands had previously blocked the process in December last year, but later the Netherlands reaffirmed its support for Bulgaria's membership in the EU's visa-free zone.
Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner introduced the four-condition "Air Schengen" concept for the partial accession of Bulgaria and Romania. The recent agreements between Sofia, Bucharest and Vienna allow for the partial completion of the process, which lasted more than a decade, despite the fulfillment of all the necessary conditions. This opens up new opportunities for the Balkan countries to strengthen cooperation and control over migration processes.
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Thus, Bulgaria's partial accession to the Schengen area is an important step for the country and for the European Union as a whole. This decision can strengthen unity and cooperation in the region, although it requires attention to the details of implementation and resolution of possible difficulties. The future of Bulgaria's partial accession promises new opportunities and challenges that will determine the dynamics of the European Union.
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