Bulgaria's Schengen Entry Postponed over Turkey Border Control - Report

Bulgaria in EU | January 9, 2011, Sunday // 19:20|  views

Border checkpoints between Bulgaria and Turkey are not deemed secure enough for the country's joining of the Schengen zone. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria will not join the Schengen zone at the end of March as previously announced because the report assessing control over the common border with Turkey is negative.

The diplomats are quoted saying for AFP that about 10 European countries, not just France and Germany oppose Bulgaria's and Romania's Schengen entry. The decision for the postponement is expected to be made during the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers on February 24.

In a Saturday interview for the TV channel Nova Televizia, Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, stated the problem was not the security at the Turkish border, pointing out it was much better than the one between Greece and Turkey.

Borisov voiced strong conviction Bulgaria will enter Schengen in September, after the publishing of the European Commission's monitoring report under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism imposed on the two newcomers.

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister, Nikolay Mladenov, further stated Sunday for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR,  that there "are no failures and delays," sounding very upbeat that by March the cabinet would fulfill all technical requirements to join Schengen, while the judicial reform would register significant progress by the summer.

The Hungarian Ambassador to Sofia, Judith Lang, explained her country, as the rotational President of the EU, has the goal to make the political decision in the matter happen by the end of June, 2011.

Also on Sunday, Bulgaria's very first EU Commissioner, Meglena Kuneva, pointed out the political lobbying for Schengen started too early.

The Member of the European Parliament from the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and former Foreign Minister, Ivaylo Kalfin, voiced doubts Bulgaria would join Schengen before the end of 2011.

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Tags: Meglena Kuneva, Schengen, Boyko Borisov, Nikolay Mladenov, Ivaylo Kalfin, Boyko Borisov, Turkish border, greece, EU, France, Germany, Hungary, Hungarian EU Presidency, Judith Lang, Romania


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