Euractiv: Schengen Membership Vote Delayed for Bulgaria and Romania

World » EU | November 29, 2023, Wednesday // 16:00
Bulgaria: Euractiv: Schengen Membership Vote Delayed for Bulgaria and Romania

Negotiations for Bulgaria and Romania's entry into the Schengen area won't face a formal vote during the Council of the European Union's meeting on December 5, Euractiv reports.

As the Netherlands grapples with post-election governance negotiations, discussions about the accession of both countries to Schengen are expected to proceed without an official vote. Sources confirm there's no current intention to separate Bulgaria from the decision-making process.

The preliminary agenda for the Justice and Internal Affairs Council includes a review of the overall Schengen area situation and a potential debate on implementing the Schengen Agreement's provisions in Bulgaria and Romania.

Romania is pushing for an emergency meeting by year-end to secure accession in two stages, starting with air borders in March, followed by road and sea borders, Euractiv notes.

The Netherlands and Austria have expressed reservations. Austrian Minister Johannes Rauch acknowledged the benefits of Romania's Schengen accession, especially for caregivers in Austria and mutual trade advantages.

While some foresee delays, Bulgarian MEP Andrey Kovatchev predicted Bulgaria's Schengen entry might wait until Austria's 2024 elections.

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Tags: Schengen, Bulgaria, Romania, accession

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