EU Presidency: Bulgaria's Schengen Entry Postponed for October

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | January 6, 2011, Thursday // 11:49
EU Presidency: Bulgaria's Schengen Entry Postponed for October: EU Presidency: Bulgaria's Schengen Entry Postponed for October Border checkpoints in Bulgaria will remain at least until October 2011, the latest tentative deadline for the country's joining of the Schengen zone. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria and Romania will not join the Schengen zone in March, as previously announced, but no earlier than October, 2011.

The statement was made Thursday by the Hungarian Interior Minister, Shandor Pinter.

On January 1, Hungary took over the rotating Presidency of the European Union.

Sofia and Bucharest placed high hopes on the Hungarian support in joining Schengen.

During his trip to Bulgaria in mid-December, Pinter declared Bulgaria's entry in the Schengen zone will be one of the priorities of the Hungary's Presidency of the European Union, while just this week Bulgaria's Foreign Affairs Minister, Nikolay Mladenov, received the same assurances from his Hungarian counterpart.

Pinter now says the entry had not been planned for March.

Also in December, France and Germany voiced strong opposition to the two countries' joining of Schengen over worries organized crime there can threaten the security of the EU outside borders.

The Schengen zone includes 25 European countries, 22 of which are EU Member States. The zone has no border checkpoints and control and the countries in it have a common police and Customs system.

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Tags: Interior Minister, Shandor Pinter, EU presidency, Hungary, Schengen zone, Schengen entry, Romania, Bulgaria, Schengen Agreement, Schengen, France, EU membership accession, March 11, 2011, the Netherlands, Brice Hortefeux, Thomas de Maiziere, Cecilia Malmstrom, Germany, France
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