European Parliament gives the go-ahead for Romania, Bulgaria to join Schengen

The European Parliament has give its go-ahead on Tuesday for Romania and Bulgaria to join Schengen free zone, without being linked to the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report. MEPs have approved the report by 514 votes to 107 and 38 abstentions.

After today’s vote in the EP, the Council of the European Union will have the final call on that.

The LIBE committee has reiterated in early November this year the recommendation addressed to the ministers of the EU member states to quickly green-light Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen space, as fully-fledged members.

The members of the LIBE committee argued that a two-stage approach in the case of Romania and Bulgaria-meaning to first suspend the air and navy border checks and then the elimination of the land border checks- would imply a number of risks that might have a negative effect on the future of the Schengen’s expansion.

The president of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, voiced his hope during the meeting with PM Viorica Dancila that Romania will be welcomed to Schengen during the mandate of the current Commission, yet stressing that “there are more efforts to be still taken”.

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