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10 Dec 2018

EP to vote on resolution calling for Romania, Bulgaria accession to Schengen

EP to vote on resolution calling for Romania, Bulgaria accession to SchengenThe European Parliament members will discuss today and vote tomorrow on a resolution that demands the accession of Romania and Bulgaria in the Schengen Area.

The non-legislative resolution calls on the EU Council to take a positive decision as soon as possible on admitting both countries into the borderless Schengen Zone. It has been drawn up on the basis of a report by Bulgarian Socialist MEP Sergei Stanishev, who is also the leader of the Party of the European Socialists.

The report, which was published in the website of the European Parliament on 9 November 2018, clearly states that “all the necessary conditions for the full application of the Schengen acquis were met by Bulgaria and Romania in 2011.”

The members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament, approved this report at the beginning of last month with a majority of votes.

The report also insists that a two-phase accession of both would negatively affect the future enlargement of the Schengen territory.  Previously, it was proposed that first Schengen should end checks at internal sea and air borders with Romania and Bulgaria, and then to stop checks at internal land borders.

The move to include Romania and Bulgaria in the Schengen Zone has been undertaken by the EP members in June 2011 for the first time. Since then, the MEPs have showed their support several times. However, a final decision must be taken unanimously by the European Council, which will be chaired by Romania in the first part of 2019.

Only last week, the European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker insisted that Romania would soon become a member of the borderless Schengen Area. After a meeting with the Romanian PM Viorica Dancila, Juncker indicated that such a thing would happened by the end of the current mandate of the European Commission, which is set to expire in October 2019.

Romania and Bulgaria are among the only four EU countries that are still not part of the Schengen, alongside Croatia and Cyprus, not including the UK and Ireland that chose to opt-out.

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