Bulgaria and Romania still no ‘green light’ to enter Schengen area – News

Both Bulgaria and Romania have been waiting more than a decade for ratification of the 27, which will come into effect on January 1 next, the same day the EU Council gave Croatia the ‘green light’ to enter the Schengen area. , again failed to get the necessary unanimity in the Council today, Vienna vetoed the entry of two countries, Bulgaria’s Dutch.

The decisions were taken today at a meeting of EU interior ministers in Brussels, despite repeated arguments by the European Commission that Bulgaria and Romania meet all the requirements to join the free movement area.

“Today is a big day for the citizens of Croatia, welcome to Schengen. To the citizens of Bulgaria and Romania, I say this: they deserve to be an integral part of Schengen. I will support every step taken to achieve this goal during my mandate,” said European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson.

With today’s ‘green light’, Croatia of around 3.5 million people will no longer have internal borders with other Schengen countries, becoming the 27th member of the free movement area.

Sofia and Bucharest saw their membership blocked by the Netherlands and Finland in 2011 and have waited more than a decade for the ‘green light’, despite repeated positive comments from the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Last month, shortly after the Commission issued its latest recommendation to Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, Austria announced the placement and transit of migrants entering Europe via the Balkan route, one of the European countries. The opposition considers the Schengen extension “irrelevant”.

Schengen area of ​​free movement allows citizens to move around the area without the need for a passport and restrictions are lifted, although temporary exceptions are expected.

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Currently, 26 countries represent 420 million people, including 22 EU member states – including Portugal – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Within weeks of Croatia’s entry, Ireland and Cyprus are the only EU member states not part of the Schengen area, apart from Romania and Bulgaria.

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