Bulgaria only accepts full accession to Schengen

Meeting between the Interior Ministers of Romania, Bulgaria and Austria.

At a meeting with his counterparts from Austria and Romania, Bulgarian Interior Minister Kalin Stoianov said that Bulgaria insists on full accession to the Schengen area of border-free movement, not only for air travel, the press office of the Ministry of the Interior of in Sofia. The three ministers met on Monday in Kranj, in Slovenia, during the Salzburg Forum ministerial conference (photo), the Bulgarian press agency BTA reports.

Stoianov stated: “Bulgaria and Romania have met all the criteria for full Schengen membership, and the results of the last mission to Bulgaria carried out by experts from member states, including Austria and the Netherlands, have proven this again.”

Intensive discussions are underway between the three countries, progress is being made, and the dialogue will continue, the ministry announced.

Minister Stoianov argued that the extension of Schengen in Bulgaria and Romania will contribute to the strengthening of the zone without borders and will improve its functioning. He added that Bulgaria already contributes to the security in the Schengen area by implementing several measures and all available tools for firm border control and police cooperation.

Romania and Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen was blocked by Austria and the Netherlands at the JHA Council in December 2022. Bucharest had the support of 26 EU member states, but was blocked by Austria, which continues to oppose it.

Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner said on Monday that he presented the European Commission with “clear conditions” to be implemented before Vienna agrees to admit Romania and Bulgaria to the so-called “Air Schengen“, reports APA. “Now it’s the Commission’s turn,” Karner told the Ö1 station’s morning journal, after learning over the weekend about a possible relaxation of Austria’s veto to the reception of Romania and Bulgaria in the Schengen area, with the lifting of air borders.

So far, Romania has had a softer stance regarding Austria’s recent position. Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu claimed, on Saturday evening, that Austria “has made its position more flexible regarding the Schengen area and agrees with the lifting of air borders for Romania”. “This means that Romanians will no longer stand in endless queues when flying within the European Union”, he explained.

Air SchengenaustriaAustrian Interior Minister Gerhard KarnerBulgariaBulgarian Interior Minister Kalin Stoianovfull accessionRomaniaSchengen
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  • Panagiotis Spyridis

    This is the way forward. Bravo!