Bulgaria's Schengen Entry Delayed at Least till October - Report
The accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen Area has practically been delayed indefinitely, and the earliest date the two Balkan countries can hope to join is October, a report of Die Welt says.
The German paper points out a statement of Hungary's Interior Minister Sandor Pinter before a committee of the European Parliament in Brussels made Tuesday saying Bulgaria's failure to institute a sufficiently strict border control will prevent the accession of the two states to Schengen by the original deadline of March 2011.
The Schengen zone expansion must be approved unanimously by the European Council. Hungary, which currently holds the EU presidency, wants to promote an early accession to the Schengen countries, Die Welt says.
It also points out that the Bulgarian government has promised to have met all Schengen requirements by March 2011, and reminds the position of Germany's federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere that Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen accession would be premature at this point, and that it should be bound to their EC-monitored progress in the fight against corruption and organized crime.
Bulgaria and Romania were originally expected to join the Schengen Agreement in March 2011.
However, in the last weeks of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, key EU member states – most notably France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland – have declared their opposition to the Schengen accession of the two Balkan states saying it would be premature as Bulgaria and Romania still face issues with the implementation of the Schengen requirements with respect to controlling what will become their external EU/Schengen boders.
What is more, since December 2010 the Interior Ministers of France and Germany as well as France's EU Affairs Minister Laurent Wauquiez have voiced additional criticism with respect to Bulgaria and Romania as far as the progress in their judicial reform and rule of law is concerned, and have demanded that the European Commission's post-EU accession monitoring of the two newcomers under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (most notably EC's annual progress reports expected in July) should be taken into account when deciding upon Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen fitness.
The last report of the Brussels working group on the Bulgarian and Romanian Schengen readiness has found problems in both countries – but most of all – with Bulgaria's border control along its Turkish border. This has led the Romanian government to slam Bulgaria numerous times for dragging it down since a decoupling of the two states for Schengen is unlikely as this will mean additional spending to secure their joint border.
In a statement on Tuesday, described as Sofia's first official public reaction to the criticism it faces regarding its Schengen fitness, Bulgarian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Vesela Cherneva has declared that Bulgaria is fully capable of executing its obligations as a country having an external EU border.
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Bulgaria's close and overlapping, even ever growing ties with Turkey, have made or making plenty of Turkish businesses full members of the EU. The same like in Germany, France, the Netherlands or Austria for instance. Indeed Turkey is already for plenty of years, very long ago a member and beneficiary of the EU.....
So vulgar language will not stop Bulgaria from entering Schengen. How ever Turkey will definitely not be a part of it until formal accession to the club.