Schengen Hopeful Bulgaria Backs Franco-Italian, EC Reform Moves

Bulgaria in EU | May 4, 2011, Wednesday // 20:56|  views

(L-R) Bulgarian Interior Secretary Kalin Georgiev, Norway Ambassador Tove Skarstein, and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov at the closing event of an anti-human trafficking project. Photo by BGNES

Even though it is still just an eager applicant to join the Schengen Area, Bulgaria has already voiced its support for the proposals of France and Italy elaborated by the EC to reform the Schengen rules.

"Bulgaria will back the proposals for changes in the Schengen Agrement which provide for temporary freeze of a country's membership in the event of emergency circumstances," Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov declared at a meeting with EU member states' ambassadors in Sofia Wednesday.

He spoke at the concluding event of a project against human trafficking sponsored by Norway together with Norwegian Ambassador to Bulgaria Tove Skarstein.

Tsvetanov told the EU ambassadors that the proposed reform does not provide privilege but means greater responsibility for all Schengen states.

"Bulgaria is now better prepared to answer the technical criteria for Schengen than are some of the older member states of the zone," the Bulgarian Interior Minister said adding that there has been rise in the number of illegal immigrants in Bulgaria as a result of the ongoing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

Tsvetanov's comments on Bulgaria's position on Schengen reform came shortly after on Wednesday the European Commission announced its own proposals for tackling the migration tide, including by modification of the Schengen provisions.

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Tags: EU ambassadors, EC, EU, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Schengen zone, Schengen Agreement, Schengen Area, schegen, Tove Skarstein, Norway


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