Hungarian FM Reaffirms Support for Bulgaria's Schengen AccessionBusiness | January 22, 2016, Friday // 09:58| views
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov (R) and his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto. Photo: BGNES
During his visit to Sofia on Thursday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto reaffirmed his country's support for the accession of Bulgaria to the Schengen Area.
At a meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Daniel Mitov, Szijjarto highlighted the need for reliable guarding of the external borders of the EU.
The Hungarian prime minister pointed to Bulgaria as being a good example in this respect. In his words, the country has been successful in imposing stricter control and meeting the challenges posed by the refugee flows.
According to him, there were no obstacles for European institutions to initiate a procedure for the accession of Bulgaria to the Schengen Area.
The two foreign ministers agreed that safeguarding of the borders was the joint responsibility of all countries from the region.
It was highlighted that the EU as a community should focus its efforts on guarding the most sensitive regions, including the Greek sea border.
The two foreign ministers also pointed to the commitments made by Turkey and Macedonia in dealing with the crisis.
Later at a public lecture organised by the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, Szijjaro noted that Bulgaria had done more than many Schengen member states in guarding the external borders of the EU.
In his words, Bulgaria had passed the test and was able to halt the migrant flow.
Szijjarto vowed to make all efforts in convincing the other three countries of the Visegrad Group – Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to support Bulgaria's Schengen accession bid.
Earlier this month, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Bulgaria should be admitted to the Schengen Area in order for the EU to be able to deal more effectively with the refugee crisis.
Apart from the latest developments surrounding the migrant crisis, the two foreign ministers also discussed steps towards deepening bilateral cooperation in the areas of commerce, investments, tourism and the energy sector.