Roberta Metsola on Bulgaria’s Schengen membership: Expect a Positive Decision

World » EU | September 27, 2023, Wednesday // 09:22
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"A positive decision on the enlargement of Schengen with Bulgaria and Romania should be expected by the end of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU, which ends by the end of the year." This was stated by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. She gave an interview to the correspondents of the European Newsroom - a platform for cooperation between 21 European news agencies, including the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency.

"You expect and deserve this since 2011", she addressed the Bulgarians and Romanians and added that she hopes and expects that there will be an "acceptable solution".

The President of the European Parliament pointed out that migration is a particularly sensitive issue and it seems that solutions should be sought with a majority and not with unanimity. She noted that five years after the migration bills were introduced, the EU could not find a way out. "There should be no blocking majority in the Council of the EU, I am confident and optimistic that a solution to these issues will be found," she said.

Metsola explained that they requested a list of internal border checks in the EU and it turned out to be more than expected. The internal borders are being closed because the external border protection policy is not working well. According to her, if the necessary checks on travelers are carried out at the external borders, there will be no need to restore internal borders. The solutions should be legislative, not political, she insisted.

Metsola said that she expects a very difficult campaign for the elections for MEPs in June next year. She was not sure if there would be leading candidates again for President of the European Commission. The President of the European Parliament highly praised the work of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. "Von der Leyen's mandate was not easy, she is the first female president of the commission and she did very well," Metsola summed up.

She announced that she will again run for MEP and noted that the first session of the newly elected parliament is scheduled for July 17, 2024. Metsola suggested that the election of the next EC president could be postponed until next fall, as was the case with the re-election of Jose Barroso as head of the commission.

According to Metsola, most of today's MEPs will continue their work in the new term. She predicts that the centrists will once again be the majority in the future European Parliament.

She expressed hope that the EU enlargement negotiations will begin by the end of this year. If Ukraine and Moldova are ready, the negotiations should begin, insisted the President of the EP.

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