Bulgaria Receives Wide Support for Joining Schengen by Land & Eurozone, Its PM Says


Emphasising that Bulgaria is taking every chance to explain the importance of opening land borders in the Schengen Zone and the adoption of the euro, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Nikolai Denkov, said that the country has full support for the latter.

Denkov’s comments came in a press conference held following talks with European leaders in the framework of the Munich Security Conference, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Bulgarian Prime Minister held talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Cro and the Member of the Bundestag of Germany Johann Wadephul.

While Bulgaria has full support when it comes to the adoption of the euro, as confirmed by Denkov, the membership of Sofia in Schengen through land borders has not been unanimously supported, following Austria’s opposition.

However, Denkov told the media that negotiations with Vienna must continue to remove the last objection.

Negotiations with Austria must continue so that their last objections disappear. This is part of our efforts to strengthen borders, to improve the fight against illegal migration.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov

The Member of the Bundestag of Germany Johann Wadephul congratulated Denkov on the Bulgarian government’s irreversible march towards full European integration. In addition, Wadephul congratulated Bulgaria’s plan to adopt the Euro on January 1, 2025.

In June last year, Bulgaria’s Finance Minister Assen Vassilev said the country is in talks with the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) on the introduction of the euro as a parallel currency along with the Bulgarian lev. Back then, it was emphasised that the target to enter the eurozone was January 1, 2025, but Bulgaria believed in introducing a currency a year earlier.

Bulgaria and Romania became part of the European Union in January 2007. Since then, both countries have also intensified their efforts to join the Schengen Area. In 2011, the European Union first confirmed that both countries had met all the needed conditions to join Schengen, a process that has yet not been finalised.

However, citing irregular migration concerns, Austria and the Netherlands opposed Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen Zone in December 2022.

On December 15, Dutch Deputy Justice Minister Eric Can der Burg stressed that his country concluded that Bulgaria met all the requirements to become part of Schengen by strengthening its borders to curb irregular migration, thus supporting its accession.

Austria’s “Air Schengen” proposal has granted both Bulgaria and Romania partial accession to Schengen from March this year, by air and sea, but both countries will still have to wait for the abolition of land border controls.

In January this year, Austria’s Interior Minister, Gerhard Karner, said Vienna continues to maintain its veto when it comes to the land border issuestressing that land border controls are still necessary.


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