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12 Jul 2018

Bulgarian FM: France and the Netherlands are hindering Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen Zone

Ekaterina ZaharievaThe Bulgarian Foreign Minister has pointed at the Netherlands and France as two countries which are hindering the accession of Bulgaria into the Schengen Zone. Recalling that despite of the fact that the European Commission and the European Parliament have published many reports and resolutions calling on the acceptance of Bulgaria alongside with Romania, both members of the EU, into Schengen Zone.

“Two countries – the Netherlands and France – are still concerned about the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen Area,” FM Zaharieva said. She added that despite of the fact she understands the concerns of both EU member states which are also

part of the Schengen Area, because of the outbreak of the migration crisis in the past years, she still could not find real arguments for their refusal and insisting that Bulgaria and Romania should remain outside the Schengen.

The Bulgarian Minister further explained that Bulgaria has met the technical requirements in 2011, “and now in a mass influx of the refugees in the EU, it has proven its ability to protect EU’s external border.”

“Thus, there is no reason why Bulgaria and Romania should not be included in the Schengen Area,” she said, further adding that the Bulgarian authorities continue to negotiate with France and the Netherlands in order to convince them that Bulgaria has fulfilled all criteria to be part of the Schengen.

Dutch PM thinks there’s more work to be done before Bulgaria joins Schengen

During an official visit in the Bulgarian Capital, Sofia, in February this year, the Netherland’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that there’s still more work to be done before Bulgaria joins the Schengen, though he said that his government supported the country’s accession into the Area.

“We support Bulgaria’s Schengen accession. But, work is not yet finished – it takes the efforts of many participants in the process, including Bulgaria. But I want to congratulate Borissov for the achievements so far,” he said quoting the EU Commission President Juncker that “there is still some work Bulgaria must do, and I think it will do”.

On the other hand, PM Borissov showed his confidence that Bulgaria would soon convince the Dutch parliament to support the country to become part of the Schengen Zone.

A month prior to this meeting, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov had met the German Chancellor in Sofia, in which meeting the latter had showed her belief that Bulgaria would soon join the Schengen Area.

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