Yesterday Sunday, Bulgaria and Romania officially joined the Schengen area but…


Yesterday Sunday, Bulgaria and Romania officially joined the Schengen area but membership allows them freedom of movement, except that their land borders will remain closed for the moment, after 13 years of waiting.

According to the European Commission's press release, Schengen rules will be applied in both member states, including the issuance of Schengen visas will be lifted at air and sea borders.

At the same time, checkpoints will remain in place on the roads due to the veto placed by Austria on this measure, which is the only country in the European Union to oppose it for fear of the influx of refugees on its territory.

Despite this partial accession, limited to airports and seaports, this step is of great importance, because it constitutes “a great success for both countries”, according to what the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a press release.

She stressed: “This is a historic moment for the Schengen Area, the largest area of ​​free movement in the world, and together we will build a stronger and more united Europe for all our citizens. »

UNHCR warmly welcomes this achievement, which follows the historic decision of the Council in December 2023.

The European Commission had already confirmed in its Schengen evaluation reports in 2011 that Bulgaria and Romania met all the conditions to be part of the Schengen area.

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