EU Commissioner Johansson: Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen Accession a Crucial Step

EU |Author: Diana Kavardzhikova | April 16, 2024, Tuesday // 15:24|  views

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EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson praised the revised Schengen legislation and hailed the forthcoming accession of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen as significant progress. Speaking on Tuesday during the presentation of a report on the state of Schengen, Johansson emphasized the importance of strengthening the European border agency Frontex.

The report highlighted that despite challenges, the Schengen area remained the world's most visited place last year, with over 10 million Schengen visas issued. Approximately 500 million visitors traveled within the Schengen area, representing 92% of pre-COVID levels.

The European Commission outlined upcoming legislative changes aimed at enhancing cooperation between law enforcement agencies and reiterated the goal of abolishing internal border checks where they persist. Additionally, improvements to the intelligence exchange system between Schengen countries are deemed necessary.

Brussels emphasized the need for better quality checks at external borders, increased migrant readmissions, and enhanced utilization of the Schengen Information System. The Commission proposed closer alignment of EU countries' actions related to the Schengen area, improved cooperation with foreign nations, and the digitization of border processes.

These proposals, along with discussions on various Schengen-related issues, will take place at the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council in June.

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Tags: Schengen, accession, progress, commissioner


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