Home   »   Romania and Bulgaria Partially Join Schengen...

Romania and Bulgaria Partially Join Schengen Travel Zone

Romania and Bulgaria have taken a significant step in their integration with the European Union by partially joining the Schengen travel zone. While travelers arriving by air or sea now enjoy ID-check-free access, land border checks persist due to opposition from Austria.

Land Border Checks Remain

  • Austria’s opposition over concerns of illegal migration has led to the retention of land border checks.

Free Access for Air and Sea Travelers

  • Travelers arriving by air or sea from both countries now have unrestricted access to the Schengen zone.

Historic Moment in European Integration

  • EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen describes the partial inclusion as a “huge success” and a “historic moment” for European integration.

Background of Schengen Area

  • Established in 1985, the Schengen Area previously consisted of 23 EU member countries and additional non-EU states.

Austria’s Previous Veto

  • Austria vetoed Romania and Bulgaria’s admission into the Schengen zone in 2022, citing concerns over illegal migration.

Fulfillment of Criteria

  • Both Romania and Bulgaria have met the technical criteria for full accession to the Schengen zone for years.

Plans for Full Accession

  • Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu expresses a government plan for full accession by the end of the year.

Bulgaria’s Future Accession

  • Bulgaria’s Interior Minister anticipates full accession by the end of 2024, aiming to deter illegal migrants from using Bulgaria as a transit route to Europe.

Impact on Airports

  • Bulgaria’s international airports, particularly Sofia, are expected to see improved operations and increased Schengen flights.

Concerns about Border Queues

  • Members of the European Parliament voice concerns about potential long queues at EU land borders, affecting trade and driver safety.

Challenges for Truck Drivers

  • Long border queues pose significant challenges for truck drivers, impacting trade and incurring substantial financial losses.

Romania and Bulgaria Partially Join Schengen Travel Zone_4.1