Juncker: Bulgaria Must Join Schengen ASAP

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | September 7, 2011, Wednesday // 17:14
Bulgaria: Juncker: Bulgaria Must Join Schengen ASAP Luxembourg PM and Eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker (L) is welcomed by Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov at the Evskinograd Residence near Varna. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria has done a wonderful job in meeting Schengen criteria and must join the free movement area as soon as possible, stated Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker, who is on a visit to Bulgaria Wednesday.

In Varna, Juncker met his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov to discuss Bulgaria's perspectives as an EU member, as well as bilateral relations.

"Bulgaria has made tremendous efforts so that Schengen external borders are well defended and it is high time that other members reward those efforts," stated the Luxembourgeois PM Wednesday.

Jean-Claude Juncker, who is in addition president of the Euro Group, also highly commended the Bulgarian government for its policies in the field of finance.

"Public finances in Bulgaria are managed in a way that has rendered the country far better off than some Eurozone members," commented Juncker.

Bulgaria and neighbor Romania's hopes of joining Schengen as scheduled in the spring of this year were dashed by members such as Germany, France and the Netherlands.

They voiced worries related to levels of corruption and organized crime in the two countries, which in essence are informal and have nothing to do with the strict criteria for Schengen accession, but have nevertheless proved a decisive obstacle.

Just this Sunday German Internal Affairs Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has yet again restated his country's worries.

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Tags: Varna, Boyko Borisov, Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, Schengen, Eurozone, PM, EU, finance, external border, Hans-Peter Friedrich, France, Netherlands, Germany
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