Home Travel & Adventure Italy Reaffirms Support for Bulgaria’s Schengen Accession: Strengthening European Cooperation

Italy Reaffirms Support for Bulgaria’s Schengen Accession: Strengthening European Cooperation

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The Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, Mariya Gabriel, has appreciated Italy’s support regarding Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen Zone.

Gabriel considered it a significant contribution to the countries’ security on NATO’s eastern flank.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister’s comments came following Italy’s request for Bulgaria’s entry into the EU’s borderless area of Schengen made by Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Antonio Tajani.

Tajani spoke in favour of the Balkan country’s accession to the visa-free travel zone in order to “make the external borders of the EU more secure”.

“We believe that, with your efforts, it will be possible to work on it. Bulgaria would be the external border of the EU, and it would be possible better to identify traffickers in people, arms and drugs. Only if we unite will it be possible to win the battle to protect human rights,” Tajani told ANSA.

Tajani’s comments came during an interview with his counterpart from Bulgaria, Marija Ivanova Gabriel.

 “We have always been favourable; it is fair that there is this compromise on important issues about our security and the migration issue. I hope that Bulgaria’s participation will be even stronger and more active by entering into this fundamental agreement,” the deputy prime minister pointed out.

Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen Zone was blocked by Austria in December last year as a result of “illegal migration concerns”.

Besides, the Federal Chancellery in Vienna recently stressed that Austria continues to maintain its veto against Bulgaria and Romania’s membership in the visa-free travel zone.

The same stressed that it is not a matter of party politics but one of security policy. The Federal Chancellery’s comments came when Die Tageszeitun asked if there was any change in attitude after recently the European Parliament called on the Council to approve the accession of both these states to the Schengen Zone.

On July 12, the EU’s Parliament published a new resolution which stressed that both countries had met all the needed requirements to become the newest members of the Schengen Area. In addition, the resolution was supported by a total of 526 MEPs, while 57 were against it.

The European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius, recently told the European Parliament that the EU Commission, as well as the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU, have intensified their efforts so both Bulgaria and Romania’s accession to the EU’s visa-free travel zone to be accomplished by the end of this year.

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