Commissioner Sefcovic: Bulgaria Belongs to Schengen Right NowBulgaria in EU | February 9, 2012, Thursday // 16:39| views
European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic and Bulgarian Parliament European Affairs Committee chair Monika Panayotova meeting at the Bulgarian Parliament Thursday. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria and Romania have fulfilled criteria for entry and they should have been let to accede to the Schengen Area, according to EU Inter-Institutional Relations Commissioner Maro? ?ef?ovi?.
Thursday Sefcovic is in Sofia on invitation of the Bulgarian Parliament's European Affairs Committee chair Monika Panayotova.
Wednesday the latest progress report on the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania was revealed, in which EC chastised Bulgaria for little progress in judicial reform.
"The European Commission sees absolutely no connection between the Mechanism and Schengen entry. This has been our position since the start, and we have reiterated it multiple times," said the Slovak Commissioner.
However, a string of EU member states, the most adamant of which being the Netherlands, have blocked Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen entry based on worries having to do with the CVM and the fight with corruption and organized crime.
"Regarding the latest report, we must regard it as a technical assessment issuing some recommendations. A political assessment is forthcoming in the July report," added Sefcovic
"We highly value Bulgaria's progress up to this point and would like to encourage your work ahead," stated the European Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration.
He added that the European Commission is open at any time to giving counsel and assistance on reforms carried out in member states.