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16 Nov 2017

Bulgaria and Romania will not join Schengen area this year

Bulgaria and Romania will not join Schengen area this yearThe decision on Bulgaria and Romania accession to the Schengen area has been postponed for next year, the European Commission informs.

According to it, both countries have reached substantial programs on the way to the European visa-free zone, but they need to take additional efforts for it. Romania received 12 new instructions, Bulgaria 17, mostly they concern securing more independence for courts, combating cross-border crime and corruption.

This decision was unpredicted because on September this year, the European Commission Urged Council of EU to Accept Bulgaria, Romania in Schengen zone, which came immediately after the President of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker in his annual speech about the situation of the EU, called for the Romania and Bulgaria to be immediately added to the Schengen visa-free travel zone, for Croatia to get the full membership in the Schengen zone after filling the criteria, and for a Western Balkan to be given better membership chances.

Romania and Bulgaria received invitation to join the Schengen area on Jan 1, 2007, when they were joining the European Union. However, since then, the issue has not been settled.

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