Schengen Enlargement Not Key for Ireland's EU Presidency
The enlargement of the Schengen area is not among the priorities named by Ireland's upcoming EU presidency, Bulgarian media have noticed.
Ireland's Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton has declared that the country backs the bloc's current enlargement policy, saying she hopes that Serbia would receive a EU negotiations date by June 2013, according to the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency.
However, Creighton has not mentioned Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen accession bids among her country's priorities.
Bulgarian media have reminded that all EU presidencies since the beginning of 2011 have named the two Balkan country's Schengen entry as a priority.
Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov recently said that the political decision for the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen is likely to come no earlier than March 2013.
The current proposal for the two EU newcomers suggests a two-step approach: In a first step, checks on persons would be abolished at internal sea and air borders with and between Bulgaria and Romania; at the same time,the two countries would fully join the Schengen Information System (SIS). In a second step, checks on persons at internal land borders would be lifted.
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