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Bulgarian PM Anticipates Clarity on Schengen Accession Dates by Land Post EU Elections


The Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, said that after the elections for the European Parliament, he expects that Bulgaria and Romania can join the Schengen Zone.

Schinas said that progress should be expected at the end of this year or the beginning of 2025, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The Vice-President of the European Commission said that he believes that what was done by both Sofia and Bucharest for their accession to Schengen exceeded what was expected of them, an EU official told BTA.

European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johannson, said that from March 31, both Balkan countries will have to implement all Schengen Agreements.

For me, it remains a top priority that the border control between Bulgaria and Romania and the other member countries be resolved before the end of my mandate (in the autumn of 2024).

European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johannson

Starting from March 31, the travel process for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania will be easier once both these two countries are allowed to travel visa-free to Schengen Zone countries by air and sea, following both countries’ partial accession to the EU’s borderless area.

Schengen membership means that those legally staying in member countries can move freely without passport checks. However, the membership of Romania and Bulgaria is exceptional – the removal of passport checks only applies to air and sea transport.

Finnish authorities in Romania

53% of Bulgarians Support Schengen Enlargement

According to a poll by Alpha Research before the European elections, further enlargement of the Schengen Zone is supported by 53 per cent of the respondents. The survey also found that 60 per cent of Bulgarians strongly support Sofia’s membership in the EU.

According to the Alpha Research poll, a total of 39 per cent of people believe that Bulgaria hasn’t met the standards of the main EU countries, and they’re becoming more sceptical about how the EU is managed and its policies.

When it comes to land border accession for Bulgaria and Romania, the Council of the European Union said that the date of accession by land borders would be decided only after March 31. At the same time, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, expressed her hopes that the process will be finalized by the end of this year.

Bulgaria and Romania’s partial Schengen accession means that passport controls would be applied only to air and sea transport but not also to land borders.

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