New EC report: Support for Bulgaria's accession to Schengen

World » EU | May 16, 2023, Tuesday // 16:15
Bulgaria: New EC report: Support for Bulgaria's accession to Schengen

Today, the European Commission presented a new report on the state of the Schengen area, in which it once again expresses its support for the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen by the end of the year, BTA reported.

"The EC calls again on the Council of the EU to allow both countries to fully join Schengen," the text states. Already 12 years ago, the Commission confirmed that Bulgaria and Romania are ready to become fully part of the space without border checks. In November 2022, the EC again indicated the countries' willingness to join. "Inspections in both countries last autumn not only confirmed the conclusions from 2011 that Bulgaria and Romania fulfill the relevant conditions, but showed that both countries are properly implementing the latest changes to the Schengen rules and are key contributors to the good functioning of the Schengen area”, adds the EC.

The Commission notes that maintaining border controls has important negative consequences for the economy and the environment, as well as for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, and for the EU as a whole. "Increased waiting times at borders lead to long vehicle queues and high costs, reduced competitiveness for businesses, disruption of supply chains and reduced revenue for tourism. Uncertainty linked to border delays and red tape can deter foreign investment and undermine economic and social cohesion between EU countries," the report states. The Commission cites figures which show that internal border controls in the EU lead to the release of 46,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

"The Commission is working closely with the Swedish and upcoming Spanish presidencies of the EU Council to prepare a decision to lift the checks as soon as possible this year. Romania and Bulgaria have consistently acted as main participants in the continuous development of the Schengen acquis. It is high time that the EU fulfills its commitment to grant them full membership in the Schengen area and further strengthen European unity in this way," the EC said.

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Tags: Schengen, Bulgaria, EC, Romania

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