Bulgaria’s Schengen Readiness: European Commission Gears Up for Fact-Finding Mission

Bulgaria’s Schengen Readiness: European Commission Gears Up for Fact-Finding Mission

The European Commission (EC) has announced plans for an upcoming fact-finding mission in Bulgaria, marking a crucial step in evaluating the country's readiness for Schengen accession. This initiative follows a formal request from the Netherlands, signalling an unprecedented move in the ongoing assessment process.

The EC’s spokesperson, Anita Hyper, confirmed the Netherlands' request for a fresh evaluation of Bulgaria's Schengen preparedness. While specifics of the mission were not disclosed, the EC reiterated its stance that both Bulgaria and Romania fulfill the essential criteria for full entry into the Schengen Zone.

The Commission has pledged to facilitate discussions between concerned member states to expedite a decision, potentially through the organisation of an investigative mission.

Schengen Accession On December’s Agenda

The long-debated inclusion of Romania and Bulgaria in the European Union's Schengen Zone has been officially scheduled for discussion at the upcoming Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council meeting on December 5, 2023.

Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Spain's Interior Minister, expressed optimism regarding the potential finalisation of Romania and Bulgaria's Schengen accession in December. Spain, currently holding the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, has prioritised this issue.

However, the membership of these two countries continues to be opposed by authorities in Austria and, in the case of Bulgaria, by the Dutch authorities.

Do you think Bulgaria and Romania will successfully join Schengen this year? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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