Martin Schulz: Meeting Criteria Crucial for Bulgaria’s Schengen Bid

Bulgaria in EU | December 4, 2014, Thursday // 22:22|  views

Admitting Bulgaria into the EU’s borderless Schengen zone is a legal problem rather than a political one, according to European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Brussels on Thursday, Schulz said that when EU member states meet certain criteria, they become entitled to certain legal rights.

This is why, Schulz said, the issue of Bulgaria joining the Schengen visa-free zone should be considered from this point of view rather than from a political one.

Bulgaria and its northern neighbout Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, had hoped to become Schengen members in 2010 but several nations had oposed admitting them into the zone, citing corruption and organized crime issues. 

Besides Bulgaria’s Schengen bid, Borisov and Schulz also discussed Russia’s decision to cancel the South Stream gas pipeline project as well as the recent formation of Borisov’s minority coalition government and the raising of the minimum wage and the extension of aid to the most needy, part of the government’s 2015 budget draft now before Parliament.

Schulz said Borisov had informed him about Bulgaria’s position regarding the cancellation of South Stream but declined to comment.

The President of the European Parliament would visit Bulgaria next spring – a move that would demonstrate confidence in the coalition government and all political parties represented in the National Assembly, Borisov said.

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Tags: Bulgaria, European parliament, Schulz, Borisov, Brussels, Schengen, coalition government, Meglena Kuneva


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