No land border controls between Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, MEPs propose


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​​Four MEPs from Romania, Bulgaria and Greece ask the Greek Minister of Immigration to propose in the informal meeting of the JHA Council the lifting of control at the Schengen land border between the three countries. The initiative comes in the context in which Romania and Bulgaria received the green light only for the integration by air and sea in Schengen since March, not having established a deadline for the accession by land.

The joint letter is signed by Romanian MEPs Dacian Cioloș and Vlad Gheorghe, together with Greek MEP Georgios Kyrtsos and Bulgarian MEP Daniel Lorer. The four MEPs also bring arguments in support of their proposal, including the support of the European Commission and the European Parliament for the full accession of Romania and Bulgaria to Schengen.

“First of all, since 2011, the European Commission has systematically reiterated that Bulgaria and Romania are ready for full Schengen accession.
Second, the European Parliament issued numerous resolutions and reports calling for full Schengen accession, which were supported by the absolute majority of the House.
Thirdly, the representatives of the Greek tourism and HORECA sectors request the lifting of the control at the land borders, in order to facilitate the arrival of Romanian and Bulgarian tourists in Greece. This would become a very important factor of economic development, especially in the northern parts of Greece, provided that the land border becomes fully open before the summer period.
Fourthly, at the moment land border controls between the three countries that are officially in the Schengen area still bring huge losses to transport companies and tourists in terms of travel costs, lost financial gains and time. This is a factor that we cannot underestimate in the context of the economic crisis and unprecedented inflation.
Fifthly, raising the border would immediately improve the environmental parameters of the areas in question, thus contributing to the EU’s objective of reducing CO2 emissions, air pollution and related diseases,” states the joint letter from the elected representatives of the three countries.

Also, the four MEPs and parliamentarians believe that “the rapid and decisive implementation of the proposal will increase the existing mutual trust between the three member states and increase the efficiency of their collaboration within the EU”.
“This proposal responds to the needs of the citizens and it is our responsibility to overcome the difficulties and provide the citizens of our countries with maximum benefits based on good neighborly relations”, the MEPs argue in a press release.
Austria is the only EU state that still opposes to Romania and Bulgaria’s joining Schengen altogether. Interior Minister Gerhard Karner argued at the end of 2023 that integration with airports and the navy was “a step forward” but “it would be wrong” at this point to give the green light to accession with land borders as well.

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1 Comment
  1. Panagiotis Spyridis says

    Interesting tackle!

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