Bulgaria, Romania Boost Joint Policing of Bulgarian Black Sea Resorts, DanubeBulgaria in EU | March 10, 2011, Thursday // 21:25| views
Bulgarian and Romanian police officials met in Ruse on Thursday. Photo by Darik Ruse
For a second summer in a row the Bulgarian Black Sea resorts will be patrolled jointly by Bulgarian and Romanian police officers, the Interior Ministries of the two states agreed.
The agreement was sealed in the Bulgarian Danube city of Ruse Thursday between Bulgaria's Deputy Interior Minister Dimitar Georgiev and his Romanian colleague Marian Tutilesku – state secretary of the Romanian Interior Ministry and head of its department on Schengen integration.
They will be the second joint patrols of the Bulgarian police with officers from a neighboring country as since June 2010 Bulgarian and Romanian policemen have been patrolling jointly the Bulgarian Black Sea resorts, which have seen a huge number of Romanian tourists in the past few years.
Joint Bulgarian-Romanian police units started patrolling Bulgaria's top Black Sea resorts Albena and Golden Sands for the first time in June 2010. The joint police patrols are formed under a project of the Interior Ministries of Bulgaria and Romania, and are designed to help alleviate any issues encountered by the increasing numbers of Romanian holidaymakers along Bulgaria's northern Black Sea coast.
The Romanian policemen are wearing their national uniforms. They help the Bulgarian officers when dealing with Romanian tourists; the police powers are exercised only the Bulgarian policemen.
The authorities of Bulgaria and Romania have come to an agreement for joint police patrols in the Bulgarian Black Sea resorts after an enormous number of Romanian tourists stormed the Bulgarian seaside in the past two-three years.
The Romanian holidaymakers prefer the northern Bulgarian sea resorts Albena and Golden Sands. Almost 1 million Romanian tourists are estimated to have visited Bulgaria in 2009, and even more Romanians came to Bulgaria in 2010. Meanwhile, in the spring of 2010, a number of Romanians have become the victims of crimes such as car theft in the Bulgarian resorts. The general agreement also provides for similar joint patrols on Romanian territory. However, those are not likely to be needed as the number of Bulgarian tourists in Romania is much more modest.
In addition to the extension of the joint police patrols, Thursday's meeting of the Interior Ministries' officials dealt with Bulgaria and Romania's cooperation within their accession to the borderless Schengen Area.
Bulgaria and Romania will patrol jointly the Danube River, and will have joint police patrols in their common border areas. In addition, the two states will exchange police officers for training.
"These are only some of the measures for combating corruption and organized crime in the two countries. They underscore their desire to join the Schengen Agreement," Georgiev said in Ruse as cited by Darik Radio.
Bulgaria and Romania were originally expected to join the Schengen Area in March 2011 but some issues with Bulgaria's border control and overall political opposition by Western European states has put off their accession. They now hope to join by the end of 2011.
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