EC Report Due in End-January to Decide Bulgaria's Schengen Accession
Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter has argued that the next report of the European Commission on Bulgaria's progress under the cooperation and verification mechanism (CVM) will be decisive for the stance of EU Member States on the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen.
Shatter's statement, as cited by Europe.bg, came late Tuesday in response to a question of Bulgarian socialist MEP Iliyana Yotova on the Schengen bids of Bulgaria and Romania.
During the presentation of the priorities of the Irish Presidency of the Council in the area of Justice and Home Affairs at a meeting of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament, Shatter assured the Bulgarian MEP that the Irish Presidency was doing everything possible to make sure that a decision on the matter is taken at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in March.
Shatter emphasized that many of his colleagues continued to tie the decision on the accession of the two countries to Schengen to the CVM report of the EC.
"We are aware of the worries of some Member States. There will be more clarity at the end of the month. This is how things stand," the Irish Minister stated.
According to reports of Europe.bg, Shatter has in mind the forthcoming progress report on Romania and the oral presentation on Bulgaria under the cooperation and verification mechanism.
In October 2012, the EC announced that it could publish an extraordinary monitoring report on Bulgaria if it decided that it was necessary.
At the beginning of January 2013, EC Spokesperson Marc Gray confirmed that Bulgaria would be the subject of an oral report to be presented together with the progress report on Romania in end-January.
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