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06 Jun 2019

Dutch Minister Reiterates the Netherlands Is Against Bulgaria Joining the Schengen Bloc

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef BlokAnother Dutch Minister has reiterated over the week, that the Netherlands is against the idea of Bulgaria becoming a Schengen Member country anytime soon.

Over the years, Dutch officials, including the PM and Ministers, have continuously insisted that Bulgaria has still more to do in order to become part of the Schengen. Border controlling and corruption have been among the main reasons for such opposing.

Last week, the Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok reiterated the same statements, during an official visit in the Bulgarian capital city, Sofia.

We have heard your desire to join Schengen, but I hope you understand that the people of the Netherlands know about the large number of migrants who arrive in our country, we have to make sure the border control is uncompromising before we allow Bulgaria to Schengen,” Minister Blok said.

This time, he also added that Bulgaria needs a system for controlling human trafficking, as according to him border guards are not enough to handle corruption and human trafficking.

I was shown numerous pictures of border guards, but there is another issue – how you handle corruption and what is the approach to human trafficking. And I think further progress is needed there”, Blok said.

Such statements come just a few weeks after the Bavarian Minister President Markus Soeder said that the Federal German state of Bavaria supports Bulgaria’s accession to the border-less Schengen area. Soeder had praised Bulgaria for “remarkably guarding Europe’s external borders, and achieving a lot for the European Union.”

Today Bulgaria is showing how strong and stable it is, and how important and significant the efforts are to preserve security of the European Union’s borders,” Soeder had commented during a press conference after a meeting with the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov at the Council of Ministers.

Bulgaria remains one of the only four EU members that are not part of the Schengen Zone, not including the UK and Ireland that chose to opt-out.

The European Parliament had confirmed that Bulgaria meets all criteria to join the Schengen Area, and as such has called for its accession in June 2011.

In December 2018, a majority of MEPs had voted in favor of a resolution that called for the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the border-less Schengen Zone.

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