Bulgaria And Romania To Enter Schengen In 2023

Bulgaria And Romania To Enter Schengen In 2023

Bulgaria and Romania will almost certainly join Schengen before the end of the year, and the admission will be in two stages. 

The first phase will be in October 2023 when the border control at the airports will be abolished, and the ground control will no longer be in place  in January 2024

This was reported by the Brussels-based publication Euractiv, citing sources from diplomatic circles in Brussels, the Bulgarian parliament, and the government.

Bulgaria and Romania are waiting for years now to acquire membership in the Schengen Zone.

According to Euractiv, the biggest obstacle to Schengen membership has been removed – the objections of the Netherlands, which has vetoed the accession for years. The government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte has signalled that it appreciates the efforts of the Bulgarian parliament and the last four governments to initiate real judicial reform with the introduction of a mechanism for an independent investigation of the chief prosecutor, writes Euractiv.

Austria‘s objections to the expansion of Schengen due to the increased number of refugees have not dropped, but the expectation is that Vienna will no longer stop the two Balkan countries if it remains the only country in the EU that is against the ascension.

Last December, Bulgaria's Schengen membership was blocked by Austria and the Netherlands. Romania was stopped by only Austria.

What It Means To Join Schengen Zone

Joining the Schengen Zone has several implications for travellers, both from within Bulgaria and Romania, and those visiting the country. 

The Schengen Zone operates on the principle of free movement, allowing travellers to move across borders without undergoing passport control. Once Bulgaria and Romania become a Schengen member, citizens of both countries would enjoy the same rights as citizens of other Schengen countries, enabling them to travel freely within the entire Schengen Area without passport checks.

Travellers from non-Schengen countries visiting Bulgaria and Romania would benefit from simplified travel arrangements. For instance, tourists and business travellers from outside the Schengen Area would have the option to enter both countries and then easily travel onward to other Schengen countries without the need for additional border checks. This would save time and administrative hassle.

Joining the Schengen Area requires Bulgaria and Romania to adhere to strict security standards and cooperate with other member states in areas such as police cooperation, information sharing, and data protection. This collaboration aims to strengthen security within the Schengen Zone, ensuring safer travel for all visitors.

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