Bulgaria Seeks to Join Schengen Area with Air, Sea Borders by October

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | July 13, 2015, Monday // 16:48
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Seeks to Join Schengen Area with Air, Sea Borders by October Meglena Kuneva, Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister in charge of coordinating EU policies and institutional affairs, photo by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency

Bulgaria seeks to secure partial Schengen membership by October, according to Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister for European Policies Coordination and Institutional Affairs.

Kuneva and Hristo Ivanov, Bulgaria’s Justice Minister, have arrived in the Netherlands for a one-day working visit.

Kuneva, as cited by the Focus news agency, claimed that the gradual abolition of border checks would assuage security concerns of the countries that were not fully convinced of the benefits of Bulgaria joining the Schengen Area.

She made clear that Bulgaria was about to engage in unprecedented talks on the two-stage accession to the visa-free Schengen zone, first with the air and sea borders, and second with the land borders.

Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister for European Policies Coordination emphasized that Bulgaria could not carry out its duties related to the EU’s security effectively.

She said that she had made every effort to present Bulgaria’s stance, to ensure separate treatment of the country’s Schengen accession and the European Commission’s Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) in order to reduce the number of opponents to the measure, and to highlight the importance of Schengen membership for making Bulgaria a reliable external border of the EU.

She noted that the opposition towards Bulgaria’s accession to the visa-free Schengen zone had decreased substantially, adding that the step would be impossible without the active participation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

Kuneva reiterated her belief that Bulgaria was 100% ready to join the Schengen Area with the air and sea borders.

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Tags: Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister, Schengen, Schengen Accession, Schengen Agreeement, Schengen Area, Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), border security, external EU border, Hristo Ivanov, Justice Minister

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