Three EU Members Still Don't Find Bulgaria Schengen-Ready

Bulgaria in EU | February 25, 2011, Friday // 15:13|  views

Three countries still oppose Bulgaria's Schengen accession anytime soon, EU's Hungarian Presidency said, refuting Bulgarian Interior Head Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who said only France is against now.

Two of the three states have expressed their concerns about Bulgaria's current level of preparedness in a written form, Gergey Polnar, spokesperson of the Hungarian EU Presidency, has clarified before Deutsche Welle.

On Thursday, after attending the meeting of EU's Interior Ministers, Tsvetan Tsvetanov said that Germany has altered its position on Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen Accession and that Finland and the Netherlands are more inclined to follow it, which he claimed left only France demanding its postponement.

Since December, France and Germany, joined later by Finland and the Netherlands, have repeatedly voiced their staunch opposition to a March 2011 Romania and Bulgarian entry in the Schengen Area, saying the Balkan countries still experience sufficient problems with justice and law enforcement that could render Schengen entry impracticable for the time being.

Anyway, EU's presidency confirmed Thursday Bulgaria is not quite ready yet for its Schengen entry, unlike fellow candidate Romania.

"Romania has finalized the technical preparations required for all evaluated areas of the Schengen acquis. Bulgaria, on the other hand, was said to have 'closed all but one' of the necessary criteria" Hungary, which holds the EU's current rotating presidency, said in a statement published after the Interior Ministers' meeting.

Since Sofia and Bucharest are highly unlikely to be decoupled for their Schengen accession, this basically leaves Romania waiting for Bulgaria to get ready as both countries are now hoping to be admitted in October.

According to the last report of the Working Party for Schengen Matters, Bulgaria has covered the Schengen Accession criteria as far as the implementation of the Information System and the Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry ( SIS/SIRENE is concerned, but it has to put additional efforts into dealing with its Turkish border

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Tags: Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Schengen, Hungarian, EU, France, Germany


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