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The Schengen Area welcomes – in part – Romania and Bulgaria

The Schengen Area welcomes – in part – Romania and Bulgaria

The Schengen Area will be partially opened to Romania and Bulgaria from March 31. The decision was made on the evening of Saturday 30 December. It is primarily about air and sea borders.

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The Spanish Prime Minister announced: “We will work until the last minute to assume the presidency of the European Union.” Pedro Sanchez did this, our correspondent in Brussels confirms. Lakshmi Lota. The information came last night: Romania and Bulgaria are joining the Schengen Area, an area where more than 400 million people can travel freely without internal border controls.

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But the measure initially concerns air and sea borders, effective March 31. This date was chosen because it corresponds to the transition from winter schedules to those planned for the summer by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), according to the official press release. The 27 countries will have to agree on a date for the land borders.

The negotiations continued for twelve years. Austria vetoed it, fearing “the arrival of large numbers of illegal immigrants” to its territory… The veto was finally lifted in exchange for guarantees: Sofia and Bucharest signed on Saturday a joint declaration pledging to fight further immigration. . “ Control of the land borders between Bulgaria and Romania, as well as between Romania and Hungary, must be strengthened “, we can read in this document.

Bulgaria and Romania are also committed to the full application of European law, which stipulates that asylum applications are processed in the migrant's country of arrival.

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Today marks a historic moment for Bulgaria and Romania, and a day of great pride for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens.She welcomed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a press statement. The Commission recalled that it had considered since 2011 that these two countries were ready to join the Schengen Area.

One year ago, in December 2022, The green light has been given to Croatia.

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