The European Commission (EC) announced that Romania and Bulgaria have met all the requirements to join the EU’s free-travel Schengen Area, Mina Andreeva, European Commission Deputy Chief Spokesperson, said on Monday, as cited by RIA Novosti.
“We believe Bulgaria and Romania qualify to access the Schengen Area. Now, a unanimous decision needs to be taken by the EU member states,” said Andreeva, during a press brief in Brussels.
22 out of 28 EU countries are currently Schengen Area member states. The United Kingdom (UK), Ireland, and Cyprus do not participate in the Schengen Area, while Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia are on their way to joining it.
Romania and Bulgaria have been asking for many years for the permission to enter Europe’s Schengen space but despite meeting the technical requirements they constantly faced harsh opposition from the Netherlands and from time to time from Finland.
Romania ranks 15th in a top of the economic impact of Schengen collapse, depending on how strong intra-Community trade would be affected, as well as transport and tourism. A collapse of Schengen would undermine the single market, the economic impact would be strongest in Central and Eastern Europe, in the Baltic States and Benelux, according to a research note conducted by Morgan Stanley analysts.