Home Travel & Adventure Long Queues Reported at Danube Border Points as Travellers Misinterpret it as...

Long Queues Reported at Danube Border Points as Travellers Misinterpret it as Schengen Sea Border


After being considered as land borders, long queues at the Danube border crossings persists, in spite of partial accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen Zone. In recent days this is mainly attributed to the misinterpretation of Schengen expansion in terms of land borders.

The two Balkan countries became part of the Schengen Area by air and sea on March 31, however, when it comes to land borders, no new changes are applied, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Partial accession to the EU’s passport-free zone means that citizens from Bulgaria and Romania are eligible to pass through internal air and sea borders without being subject to controls, however, in land borders controls will remain effective between both countries and other Schengen Area countries.

Announcing the new changes that would become effective once both these two Balkan countries entered the Schengen Zone partially, the Embassy of Finland in Bucharest emphasized that land border controls would remain in place.

Passport checks are still valid at land borders. If you cross the Romanian or Bulgarian border by road, you must have a valid passport with you. Rivers and lakes between countries are considered land borders.

Finnish Embassy in Romania

A European Commission source confirmed to the BNR that since river borders are considered as land borders, border controls between Bulgaria and Romania on the river Danube will continue to remain effective.

Challenges Persist Amidst Land Border Accession Delay

The lack of a concrete date for the land border accession of these two countries to the Schengen Area continues to affect both territories. Truck drivers are often subject to long queues at the borders of both Bulgaria and Romania.

Stoppages at the land border caused at least €1 billion financial loss for Bulgaria, while Romania suffered €2.41 billion in losses, based on the figures provided by the National Union of Road Hauliers from Romania (UNTRR).

Recently, Austrian economist and politician Gunther Fehlinger told SchengenVisaInfo that land border accession should be finalized on May 1, 2024.

Bulgaria and Romania are ready for Schengen and must be accepted fully, including land borders, on May 1, 2024, the Day we celebrate EU Enlargement, 20 years of 10 new countries joining the EU 2004 and before the EU elections. Austrian economist and politician, Gunther Fehlinger

The Council of the European Union earlier this year said that the date for accession by land for these two countries will only be decided after March 31, 2024.

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