Ireland to Back Bulgaria's Schengen Bid
John Rowan, Ambassador of Ireland in Bulgaria (l) and Tomislav Donchev, Bulgarian Minister for the Management of EU Funds at the discussion in Sofia on the Irish EU Presidency. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria has fulfilled all requirements for joining the Schengen area and Ireland is ready to support its membership bid.
The statement was made Tuesday by His Excellency John Rowan, Ambassador of Ireland in Bulgaria.
At a public discussion in Sofia on the Irish Presidency of the European Union and Bulgaria, the diplomat called on Bulgarian authorities to stay the course of reforms in the judicial system and the fight against corruption in order to gain the trust of those Member States that still oppose the country's Schengen membership.
According to Rowan, a positive decision about accepting Bulgaria in the free zone can be made during the Irish EU Presidency with Ireland working to resolve all issues until the March 2013 summit.
On the situation with media in the country, the Ambassador reminded that Bulgaria was placed under a monitoring mechanism in joining the EU with the goal to have a road map for advancement in such matters.
He commented that there have been some positive developments in the media issue and voiced Ireland's readiness to conduct public debates on it and give advice if needed.
The diplomat outlined economic growth, employment and stability as priorities for the Irish Presidency, stressing his country will apply its own experience in securing fiscal stability.
Ireland will also work on reforming the EU economic management to lay the foundations for stability by the establishment of a bank union, reforms in the economic and currency union, and fiscal discipline in order to protect interests of investors and consumers.
Ireland further plans enlargement of the EU, support for the cohesion policy, creation of a common digital market and new cyber security legislation.
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