Bulgarian MEP Highlights Germany's Role in Delaying Bulgaria's Schengen Access

EU | November 23, 2023, Thursday // 14:14|  views

Angel Dzhambazki

MEP Angel Dzhambazki, representing the European Conservatives and Reformists Group and VMRO, has raised concerns regarding the delayed inclusion of Bulgaria into the Schengen area. He suggested that Germany, and to a lesser extent the Netherlands, might have a vested interest in prolonging Bulgaria's entry. According to Dzhambazki, Germany, being a prominent player, prefers not to directly oppose Bulgaria's accession but rather encourages other nations, such as Austria, to take a stand against it.

Dzhambazki proposed that Austria’s migration challenges are predominantly linked to Germany rather than Bulgaria, asserting that illegal migrants reaching Austria had not traversed Bulgaria. He alleged that a minor fraction of migrants utilized the Western Balkan route via Hungary, financed by non-governmental organizations paying traffickers.

The MEP contended that Bulgaria’s exclusion from Schengen serves broader transport and financial motives, ostensibly facilitating the operation of Western Europe's ports. He argued that if Bulgaria and Romania were integrated into Schengen, major ports in these countries and Greece (Constanta, Varna, Burgas, Piraeus, and Thessaloniki) could rival key European ports like Rotterdam and Copenhagen. Such inclusion would potentially shorten the route for goods transport to Western Europe by seven or eight days. However, the exclusion, according to Dzhambazki, results in significant financial losses, estimated at around EUR 100 million annually, specifically affecting Bulgaria's transport sector due to prolonged border waits.

The MEP emphasized the significant impact of these delays on Bulgaria's economy and stressed the potential benefits of Schengen entry, not just for the country but for the European goods transport landscape.

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Tags: MEP, Dzhambazki, Bulgaria, Schengen, Germany


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