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PostSubject: Schengen Zone   Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:11 am

First topic message reminder :

and Bulgaria blocked from joining Schengen zone
Bulgaria says it will try to allay other nations' concerns Continue reading the main story
EU harmonises Schengen visa rules
Balkan states' travel to EU eased
France and Germany have decided to block Bulgaria and Romania from joining the Europe's passport-free travel zone.

The French and German interior ministers said it was "
premature"
to let them join Schengen in March 2011.

They said Bulgaria and Romania needed to make "
irreversible progress"
in the fight against corruption and organised crime.

Romania condemned the decision, while Bulgaria promised to "
do its utmost"
to remove doubts about its membership.

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux and his German counterpart, Thomas de Maiziere, raised their objections in a letter to European Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem, AFP news agency reported.

Experts from EU states who visited Romania and Bulgaria are due to present a report in January that will be used by governments to make a decision on Romanian and Bulgarian membership, but it must be agreed by the Schengen members in unanimity.

"
Grave consequences"


A spokesman for Germany's interior ministry said there had also been a lack of progress by Romania and Bulgaria in reforming their judiciary, Associated Press news agency reported.

The spokesman said those deficits could have "
grave consequences for the European Union's security"
and raised concerns about an "
overly swift"
adhesion to the Schengen area.

Romanian President Traian Basescu said: "
I believe that the Franco-German letter sent to the European Commission is an act of discrimination against Romania."


Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Vessela Tcherneva told AFP: "
We are aware that the political situation in some EU member countries is complicated. For that reason, we will do our utmost to remove any doubts, including in the areas of the judicial system and society as a whole."

The Schengen zone is made up of 25 European countries - the 27 EU members, minus the UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus;
plus three non-EU nations - Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:19 pm

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Good point and I will be very surprised if that happens! What about illegal immigration?

On my return through Varna Airport on Tuesday, I asked two members of staff (a cashire in the shop and a police officer at passport control) what will happen to their jobs when the Airport closes for four months in October for runway repairs, both replied it is not just for the runway, it includes a complete refurbishment of all the buildings and the segregration of the Schengen Zone and the non Schengen Zone which also includes a duty free shop and a non duty shop, which I must admit I find that hard to believe as it could be another couple of years before entry is accepted
That four month closure will also have a big impact on various trades i.e. buses, taxies, hire cars and considerable loss of business

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PostSubject: Re: Bombs rock Sofia   Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:17 pm

[size=150:1caekgrp]Bombs rock Sofia ahead of key EU report

Two homemade bombs exploded yesterday (19 July) in front of the offices of two Bulgarian opposition parties in Sofia, damaging neighbouring buildings, just hours ahead of the presentation today (20 July) of a crucial EU monitoring report on Bulgaria's progress regarding the fight against corruption and organised crime.
The first blast went off at 3:58 local time in front of the headquarters of the Order, Law and Justice Party (RZS) in central Sofia.

RZS is a maverick party that exposes corruption and alleged links between Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and the country's underground. However, the party is also suspected of maintaining close ties with Alexei Petrov, a former undercover anti-mafia agent who has built up his own empire. He is described by many as Borissov's most powerful enemy and frequently called 'The Octopus'.

About twenty minutes later another explosion rocked the party headquarters of former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov, leader of Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, a small centre-right party affiliated to the European People's Party.

The blasts come just a day after Bulgaria's opposition filed in parliament a no-confidence motion against Borissov's minority government yesterday, slamming the prime minister for failing to join the EU's Schengen passport-free zone and for what they described as a law enforcement fiasco.

According to some rumours, the blasts were a publicity trick masterminded by the parties themselves. Many recalled that a similar explosion took place on 10 February in front of the offices of Galeria, an anti-government tabloid also with alleged ties to Alexei Petrov. This blast also happened just before a Commission monitoring report.

Galeria was the media outlet which published a series of leaked secret police wiretaps, some of which exposed Borissov himself as sheltering some businessmen from customs investigations. The Galeria blast took place ahead of the publication of the Commission's last mid-term monitoring report.

EurActiv obtained an advance copy of the monitoring reports to be unveiled today, in which Bulgaria is severely criticised for a series of shortcomings and the malfunctioning of its law enforcement system. In contrast, the report on Romania takes stock of some progress made over the last year.

One area where Romania appears to have clearly overtaken Bulgaria is the adoption of a draft law allowing the confiscation of property obtained illicitly by people convicted of five years of imprisonment or more. In Bulgaria, the government recently failed to pass a similar law. The Bulgarian draft law was in fact much more stringent and could have allowed the confiscation of property of people without convictions.

Rendez-vous clause

The most important element of the reports appears to be a 'rendez-vous clause', according to which in the summer of 2012, five years after the inception of the monitoring, the Commission will make "
an overall assessment"
of the countries' progress so far, and make "
appropriate proposals"
in light of this assessment.

Media close to the government circles in Bulgaria hasted to translate this text as meaning that next year, Bulgaria would get rid of the monitoring. According to such an interpretation, the country would be able to join the Schengen border-free area. Bulgaria is technically ready to join Schengen, but the Netherlands in particular is insisting on linking any such decision to clear proof that Bulgaria can be trusted as a country with effective law-enforcement.

Diplomats told EurActiv that in the case of Romania, if progress was still ongoing until July 2012, a positive decision was "
not impossible"
. But in the case of Bulgaria, the many outstanding problems did not permit such an optimistic scenario, the sources said.

Later today EurActiv will publish a comprehensive article highlighting the main conclusions of the two reports, which will be officially published at noon Brussels time.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:10 pm

Not much progress made here then

[size=150:19y35rtf]Germany Still Against Bulgaria, Romania in Schengen
Bulgaria in EU | September 4, 2011,

German Federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (C) speaks with police officers from Poland, Switzerland, and Austria (L-R) on 20 August 2011 in Berlin. EPA/BGNES Germany's federal Ministry of Interior has no intention whatsoever to reverse its negative opinion on the readiness of Bulgaria and Romania to enter the Schengen free movement area.

"
At present, Sofia and Bucharest are still not ready to join the Schengen Agreement,"
stated German Internal Affairs Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich.

"
We are not enthusiastic and taking into account the rather negative reports on the two countries, we still doubt the purposefulness of such a step,"
clarified German Ministry of Interior representative Jens Teschke.

According to Teschke, Minister Friedrich intends to further discuss the matter with his counterparts from France and the Netherlands, two EU members who have also been especially vocal against Bulgaria and Romania's joining.

The two countries were set to join Schengen in the spring of 2011, but accession was indefinitely delayed following opposition by Germany, France, the Netherlands and others. Renewed considerations are expected to take place in the fall.

The arguments against referred not to the two countries degree of fulfilment of Schengen technical requirements, but rather to worries related to the level of corruption and organized crime, which officially are not connected to Schengen membership.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:01 pm

The struggle goes on

Netherlands to Block Bulgaria, Romania Schengen Entry

The Netherlands will "
work against"
Bulgaria and Romania joining the Scdhengen Agreement, the country's Immigration Minister Gerd Leers promised late on Thursday evening.

Neither of the two Balkan countries is doing enough to combat corruption, Leers told the Dutch Parliament, pointing out this is a fact confirmed by a European Commission report this summer

The European Commission is looking at the issue next week and the Netherlands will use its veto if it appears Bulgaria and Romania are to be admitted, Leers said, as cited by the ANP News Agency.

ANP has stated that Finland, too, supports the Dutch position.

Bulgaria expects to get a date for accession to the Schengen Area at the upcoming External Affairs EU Council sitting on September 22.

The EU's latest members Bulgaria and Romania, who joined 2007, were expected to enter Schengen in the spring of 2011, but their accession was blocked by a number of older member states, such as EU juggernauts France and Germany.

It is a common perception that both Bulgaria and Romania have fulfilled the technical requirements for Schengen accession, but their entry has been opposed on the grounds of what other members claim to be persisting problems with corruption and organized crime.

"
Bulgaria and Romania have met the technical criteria for Schengen membership. Unfortunately, the issue has been politicized,"
His Excellency Leszek Hensel, Ambassador of Poland to Bulgaria, has told Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) in an exclusive interview. He added that the decision about Bulgaria and Romania's accession to the Schengen Area would be shaped precisely during the Polish EU Presidency in September 2011.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:45 pm

Will it, or won't it happen The latest news

Bulgaria's Two-Stage Entrance to Schengen

Schengen's enlargement to include Bulgaria and Romania has not been called off the agenda of the sitting of Europe's Justice ministers tomorrow. The council is expected to discuss the suggestion for stage-by-stage accession of the two countries. According to it, the air and sea borders will join Schengen zone by the end of the year and after the annual reports on the mechanism for cooperation and assessment due next year the land borders will join the zone as well, stated an anonymous diplomat from the Polish EU Presidency, quoted by the Bulgarian News Agency. So far eight countries have joined Schengen this way.
Last week Netherlands announced it will oppose the accession of the two countries. In response Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov stated that Bulgaria might reconsider its support for Schengen reform. Vice president of Romanian Senate Cristian Diaconescu stated yesterday that Romania might file a lawsuit against Netherlands in the European Court. According to Mr. Diaconescu Netherlands and the rest sates are legally obliged to approve the joining of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen zone after it was established that the two countries have met all technical requirements.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:08 am

Its not looking good and its going to be a bumpy ride by the sounds of things, I found this in Novinite.


Finland will follow the Netherlands' examples and veto Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen accession, Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi has revealed after meeting his Dutch and Finnish counterparts.

"
However, we need consensus and we need a positive vote on behalf of all EU member states,"
Baconschi has declared after he met his colleagues at the UN General Assembly in New York.

"
We all know what will happen at the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting,"
Baconschi said, as cited by Romanian media, referring to Bulgaria and Romania's imminent fate.

"
But there are other European meetings coming. I believe that if we work together and respect the rules, the bloc's legislative requirements, we would find a way to unblock the situation,"
he added.

Commenting Monday on Dutch opposition to Romania and Bulgaria's accession to Europe's visa-free Schengen zone, the Romanian Foreign Minister stressed that "
France and Germany have become more flexible, they have proposed us a two-step entry scenario"
.

The two Western European countries, however, have "
failed to convince the Dutch government which is in a certain way held captive by the anti-European and anti-immigration political agenda of an extremist party,"
according to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:39 pm

[size=55:uft87j5e]Sofia echo

Breaking News - Bulgaria's Schengen Entry Vetoed

Bulgaria, Romania's Schengen Applications Formally Vetoed

The Netherlands and Finland have expectedly vetoed the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the visa-free Schengen Area at the meeting of the EU Interior Ministers in Brussels.

The Netherlands formally decided to veto Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen accession at the end of last week, and Finland did so on Wednesday. The vetoes on the Schengen Agreement bids of the two Balkan states have been formally turned down at the long-anticipated sitting of the EU Interior Ministers on September 22, 2011.

“The Netherlands and Finland remain the only two EU states which did not support today the proposal for Bulgaria and Romania's accession to the Schengen Area. They failed to provide a logical explanation for their position,” Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov stated after the meeting of the Interior Ministers in Brussels, as cited by BTA.

“With this decision we are entering into a Catch 22 situation,” Tsvetanov added.

He stressed that the Netherlands and Finland have ended up “in isolation” because of their opposition to Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen entry, since all other EU member states, including France and Germany, have accepted the “compromise” solution suggested by the Polish EU Presidency that Bulgaria and Romania be granted “partial” accession to the Schengen Area (i.e. with respect to sea and air borders travel.)

The Bulgarian Interior Minister further explained the “additional consultations” at the ambassador's level with the representatives of the Netherlands and Finland have failed to yield any results.

Tsvetanov did emphasized, however, that new talks on the Schengen fate of Bulgaria and Romania are expected by October 17-18, when the EU state leaders will meet at a regular summit. He believes that a decision can be made in the meantime if a compromise is reached.

This Dutch and Finnish vetoes are an expected development in spite of Bulgaria and Romania's hopes and the outstanding efforts of the Polish EU Presidency that the two countries should be granted at least “partial” or “two-phased” Schengen accession – i.e. accession with respect to sea and air travel only for the time being.

Their opposition to the expansion of the 25-member Schengen Agreement is largely based on pressure from their parliaments.

The Polish EU Presidency has already made it clear ahead of Thursday's meeting of the EU ministers, whose outcome was predetermined, that Poland will do everything possible in order to find a solution about Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen fate before the summit of the EU 27 state leaders, i.e. the European Council, scheduled for October 17-18, 2011.

Bulgaria and Romania were originally expected to join the Schengen Area in March 2011 but their accession has been put off for an unknown period of time, primarily because of political opposition by key EU states focusing on their rule of law situations.

It is a common perception that both Bulgaria and Romania have fulfilled the technical requirements for Schengen accession, but their entry has been opposed on the grounds of what other members claim to be persisting problems with corruption and organized crime.

Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland have been known to share the Dutch misgivings but the Netherlands appears to have become provided the most categorical "
no"
to Bulgaria and Romania in Schengen ahead of the much-anticipated September 22, 2011, ministerial in Brussels.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:43 pm

[size=55:3a7yd46e]novinite

Netherlands, Finland 'in Isolation' for Vetoing Bulgaria's Schengen Bid - Interior Min

The Netherlands and Finland are "
in isolation"
in the EU because of their vetoes on the Schengen Area entry of Bulgaria and Romania, according to Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Tsvetanov spoke to reporters in Brussels after the long-anticipated meeting of the EU Interior Ministers during which the Dutch and the Finns formally exercised their vetoes on the accession to the Schengen Agreement of the two Balkan countries.

"
The Netherlands and Finland remain the only two EU states which did not support today the proposal for Bulgaria and Romania's accession to the Schengen Area. They failed to provide a logical explanation for their position,"
Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov stated after the meeting of the Interior Ministers in Brussels, as cited by BTA.

"
With this decision we are entering into a Catch 22 situation,"
Tsvetanov added.

He stressed that the Netherlands and Finland have ended up "
in isolation"
because of their opposition to Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen entry, since all other EU member states, including France and Germany, have accepted the "
compromise"
solution suggested by the Polish EU Presidency that Bulgaria and Romania be granted "
partial"
accession to the Schengen Area (i.e. with respect to sea and air borders travel.)

Tsvetanov, who is also one of the two Deputy Prime Ministers in the Borisov Cabinet, reminded the position of the European Commission that a veto on Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen accession leads to a “legal collision” because the two Balkan states have met all requirements for Schengen entry.

In Tsvetanov's words, the representatives of the Netherlands and Finland have explained during Thursday's meeting in Brussels that they “do not have a mandate” to support the enlargement of the 25-member Schengen Area.

“This position which is detrimental to Bulgaria and Romania is part of the internal political agreements in these countries and undermines the foundations of the EU project,” the Bulgarian Deputy PM declared, as cited by BNR.

“We need to be certain that the Schengen rules are fully applied, especially when it comes to cracking down on corruption and organized crime,” Dutch Immigration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers told the EU Interior Ministers in Brussels Thursday.

“If that is not the case, we would have a door equipped with the eight best locks in the world but there would be somebody behind it letting everybody in. This constitutes a serious problem,” Leers is quoted as saying.



Finnish Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen confirmed the position of his country that Bulgaria and Romania are not fit for being Schengen members in spite of meeting the technical criteria.



“Bulgaria and Romania have indeed met the technical criteria for accession. However, we don't have full trust in their capacity to protect the external EU borders, including because of corruption, among other things,” she stated.

The Dutch and Finnish vetoes are an expected development in spite of Bulgaria and Romania's hopes and the outstanding efforts of the Polish EU Presidency that the two countries should be granted at least “partial” or “two-phased” Schengen accession – i.e. accession with respect to sea and air travel only for the time being.

The Polish EU Presidency had already made it clear ahead of Thursday's meeting of the EU ministers, whose outcome was predetermined, that Poland will do everything possible in order to find a solution about Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen fate before the summit of the EU 27 state leaders, i.e. the European Council, scheduled for October 17-18, 2011.

Bulgaria and Romania were originally expected to join the Schengen Area in March 2011 but their accession has been put off for an unknown period of time, primarily because of political opposition by key EU states focusing on their rule of law situations.

It is a common perception that both Bulgaria and Romania have fulfilled the technical requirements for Schengen accession, but their entry has been opposed on the grounds of what other members claim to be persisting problems with corruption and organized crime.

Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland have been known to share the Dutch misgivings but the Netherlands appears to have become provided the most categorical "
no"
to Bulgaria and Romania in Schengen ahead of the much-anticipated September 22, 2011, ministerial in Brussels.

Bulgaria has already threatened “counter-measures” if its Schengen application is treated “unfairly”, which boil down to “reconsidering” its support for the Schengen reform legislation.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:39 pm

What next, where do they go from here ??????????? I dont know, do you?
Reuters
BRUSSELS, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Romania and Bulgaria failed to persuade other European Union governments on Thursday to let them join Europe&
apos;
s passport-free travel zone, with opponents citing concerns about corruption and organised crime in the two Balkan states.

Most EU states say Romania and Bulgaria have now met technical requirements to join the Schengen zone, named after a village in Luxembourg where a pact to scrap internal borders was signed in 1985.

But Finland and the Netherlands, in particular, voiced opposition at a meeting of EU interior ministers to the elimination of borders between the latest EU members and the rest of Europe, which had been scheduled for 2011.

"
In addition to committing to rules, one also has to follow them. Existence of extensive corruption jeopardises the following of the rules,"
Finnish Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen said in a statement.

EU leaders could hold more talks on the issue at a summit in October.

Since joining the EU in 2007, Romania and Bulgaria have failed to convince other EU states of the effectiveness of anti-corruption reforms, particularly in addressing organised crime.

Romania and Bulgaria are on major illegal trade routes to Europe for arms and drugs, and women from the two states fall victim to trafficking and sex slavery more often than most other Europeans. Graft is also pervasive in the two Balkan states, which are the poorest in the EU
.

Reluctance among western European states to admit them to the Schengen zone also reflects a growing debate in Europe over limits on unrestricted travel.


CONCERNS OVER ILLEGAL MIGRANTS

Concerns over illegal immigration have led to calls for new rules that would make it easier to reintroduce internal borders, dropped throughout most of the EU over the last two decades.

The worry of some EU politicians is that bringing Romania and Bulgaria into Schengen could expose western Europe to more illegal migrants, who have been spilling into Greece through Turkey. Because of their shared borders, allowing Bulgaria and Romania into Schengen might make it easier for them to gain access to the rest of the EU.

Several EU states, including Poland which holds the EU&
apos;
s rotating presidency until the end of 2011, had pushed for a gradual opening of borders with Romania and Bulgaria. This could mean eliminating passports checks at airports this year and lifting land border controls in 2012.

Polish Interior Minister Jerzy Miller accused Finland and the Netherlands of unnecessarily fomenting mistrust in Europe while the 27-member bloc is struggling with deep financial woes.

"
Two member states made it impossible to make a decision on Schengen enlargement today,"
he told reporters after meeting his counterparts from other EU states.

"
Romania and Bulgaria were promised to be admitted into Schengen once they meet technical requirements. This promise was broken,"
he said. "
The ideals of the EU were forgotten."


In a sign of tensions between Romania and the Netherlands, officials have stopped Dutch lorries importing flowers into Romania in recent days, citing concerns over bacteria contamination

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:36 am

[size=55:1k8d0eu6]Sky news

It isn't just the single currency crisis which shows how fragile Europe's political union can be.

Take the Schengen Agreement whch allows the inhabitants of participating European countries to whizz over borders without flashing their passports.

Bulgaria and Romania may have been welcomed into the EU back in 2007, but that doesn't mean they've been embraced by the union's wealthier members.

Today Finland and the Netherlands blocked attempts by the newbies to be included in Schengen, citing concerns about corruption, and a unanimous vote is needed.

It's bloomed into a trade war, with Romanian authorities turning back truckloads of Dutch tulips, claiming health concerns.

It's a clear sign that not all EU countries are created equal: Romania and Bulgaria are assessed by the EC every two years on a variety of metrics.

But it also shows how national political concerns can lead to sclerosis in the wider union: France and Germany backed the countries' accession, but immigration issues are red hot in Scandanavian countries.

Another day, more EU disunity.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:59 pm

Bulgaria is usually wary of confronting old Member States, so I do not expect any Dutch flower deliveries stopped at the border as was the case with Romania. In fact Bulgaria is yet to deliver an explicit political position. What can be expected is some behind-the-scenes lobbying with, Germany, France and the UK, as well as some attempts to bring the debate back into the European People’s Party agenda, since the ruling party in Bulgaria – GERB, belongs to the EPP family. I think that Bulgaria must be much more vocal in its opposition to the Dutch and Finnish position. The blockage of the Schengen accession is part of a dangerous trend of legal voluntarism of some older Member States (remember the drama with the Tunisian and Lybian migrants during the summer). If left unattended, this trend can lead to mutual distrust and real damage to the Schengen borderless area.
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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:58 pm

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Why have Bulgaria and Romania been vetoed from joining the Schengen area?

On 22 September, Bulgaria and Romania’s bids to join Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone were vetoed. Accession to the Schengen area requires approval of all 22 European Union member states that have so far signed the treaty.

Bulgaria and Romania were initially scheduled to join the Schengen area in March 2011. France and Germany, however, urged the European Commission in December of last year to put any decision on hold, arguing that the EU’s two newest members were not prepared.

Accession to the Schengen zone requires each state to show its preparedness assessed in four areas: air borders, visas, police cooperation, and personal data protection. This evaluation process involves a notoriously lengthy questionnaire and visits by EU experts to selected institutions and workplaces in the country under assessment. Paris and Berlin’s main argument against the accession of Bulgaria and Romania were that the two countries had failed to show tangible progress in the fight against corruption and organised crime.

Then, last June, the European Commission proposed a package of revised immigration policies, including reintroducing temporary border controls in exceptional circumstances. The Commission’s proposal came after France and Italy asked to change the Schengen rules in April, following a sudden influx of illegal immigrants from the Mediterranean region.

On 22 September, EU interior ministers met in Luxembourg to review the Schengen zone rules and to look at possible amendments to the agreement. Several member states - including Austria, France, Germany, and Spain - have publicly rejected core elements of the proposals, which are supposed to shift decisions on emergency measures from member states to the Commission. Bulgaria has since warned that it may withdraw its support for changes to the Schengen Agreement since its bid to join Europe’s passport-free zone was blocked.

While both the European Commission and European Parliament have since confirmed that Bulgaria and Romania have met the requirements for entry, other EU member states have voiced opposition to their admission. In order for Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen zone, they need the approval of all 22 EU Schengen countries.

Both the Netherlands and Finland voted against Bulgaria and Romania’s bids, making the outlook for a compromise look especially dim. The Dutch government said on Friday it would block any decision on Bulgaria and Romania’s entry into the Schengen area before 2012 and that the Netherlands would not even approve partial entry. This prompted Romania to block imports of Dutch flowers, while Bulgaria threatened to vote against plans to reform the Schengen area. Finland has also expressed its concern that it is too early to make a decision on the accession of these two states to the Schengen area, citing that Bulgaria and Romania still have improvements to make regarding their judicial systems and in combating corruption.

On September 14, MEPs in Strasbourg gave overwhelming support to the two countries’ Schengen bids. There were 487 votes in favour of allowing Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen zone, 77 against, and 29 abstentions, prompting EP President Jerzy Buzek to say, “Schengen is one of the biggest achievements of the EU. We must not destroy it with rash decisions. The Schengen system is providing the highest standards of border management. Romania and Bulgaria are meeting these standards today - hence, we must not delay their integration.”

The President has further called on the member states that have blocked Bulgaria and Romania’s Schengen entry to reconsider their position. Indeed, most EU member states are part of the Schengen zone, as are three non-EU countries: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Besides Bulgaria and Romania, three EU member states remain outside: Cyprus, Ireland, and the UK.

The Schengen Agreement essentially makes much of Europe “border-less,” allowing for greater integration and forming a fundamental part of one of the EU’s four freedoms: freedom of movement of people. This freedom of movement across Europe has fostered growth in trade and ease of travel for both EU and non-EU citizens. Thus, the veto of Bulgaria and Romania’s bid to join the Schengen zone is a huge blow for the two countries’ status in the Union – albeit, perhaps, a lesser blow for their citizens, who can continue travel across the Union as long as they don’t forget their passports.

The fact remains, however, that a principle was broken that day: the two countries passed all the requirements set by the EU to join the passport-free zone and there is no objective reason why they should not now be members.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:17 pm

Lets remember Bulgaria is not yet fully in the Eu mainly because of the vast corruption which will have to stop.which i would say will take many years,here is some extra information you may find of help.


There are no longer any frontier controls at the borders between 22 EU countries. This is thanks to the Schengen rules which are part of EU law. These rules remove all internal border controls but put in place effective controls at the external borders of the EU and introduce a common visa policy. All EU countries are full Schengen members except for Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom. Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are also Schengen members but are not in the EU.

You will therefore need to present a valid passport or ID card when travelling to the five non-Schengen countries and when entering or leaving the EU at the external borders.

Carry them when travelling in the EU because they may be required for identification or security purposes. Be aware that the only valid ID is the one obtained from national authorities. Check the Public Register of authentic identity and travel documents.

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:29 am

Interesting comment

[size=85:2ciuo807]Novinite
Bulgaria's Accession to Schengen
Letters to the Editor | January 16, 2013, Wednesday| 656 views

It is farcical to see Ireland supporting Sofia's application to join Schengen when it denies the right of free travel to its own citizens.

It is mad to be forced, unless one wants to be deported, to seek permission at a Schengen border post to enter (the continent of) the European Union.

Ireland then submits everyone to long queues to enter its own territory as it selfishly defends three quarters of an island against 'Schengenites' other EU citizens and foreigners.

How can a 'NO SCHENGEN' country like mine, 40 years in the Union, albeit currently holding the Union Presidency claim to be in a position to support Bulgaria's legitimate request to seek full freedom of movement within the EU and to share in the protection and security of the borders surrounding twenty three (including hopeful Bulgaria) Union and three foreign countries.

Noel O Cáinte
Citizen of Ireland

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PostSubject: Re: Schengen Zone   Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:08 pm

Germany may now block Bulgaria's proposed entry into the Schengen Zone as claims have been made that not enough has been done to combat crime and corruption

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