Bulgaria Hopes to Join Schengen Area by end-2014 – Foreign MinisterBulgaria in EU | February 7, 2014, Friday // 14:31| views
Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin, photo by BGNES
Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin has expressed hopes that the issue of Bulgaria's accession to Schengen will be resolved by end-2014.
Vigenin, as cited by the BGNES news agency, told journalists Friday that no decision on Bulgaria's Schengen bid was expected by the end of Greece's six-month EU Council Presidency (July 2014), adding that it would hopefully be in place by the end of the year.
Bulgaria's Foreign Minister assured that the efforts of the authorities to achieve this goal continued, stressing that the upcoming European Parliament elections in May meant that it was not really the most appropriate moment to bring up the issue.
Vigenin argued that it had not been obligatory for Bulgaria to take part in the Geneva-2 Conference held on January 22 - 31, 2014.
He underscored that only 9 out of a total of 28 EU Member States had attended the international peace conference on Syria and all of them had made concrete contributions.
"We have no reason to believe that we have been neglected in this process," he declared.
Vigenin went on to say that the refugee issue was among the priority topics during Greece's EU Council presidency and that the goal was to agree on a common coordinated European policy on the matter.
"I hope that our Greek colleagues succeed, but Italy, which is to take over the rotating EU Presidency from Greece, is a country which is strongly affected by the problem of refugee flows and if Bulgaria does not make it now, it will happen during their term," Bulgaria's Foreign Minister noted.