EP to vote for Romania, Bulgaria accession to Schengen

The European Parliament members will vote today 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 EP on 9 November, 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 EP, 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. 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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