Bulgaria Loses Billions Annually Due to Delayed Schengen Membership, Warns Economy Minister

EU | April 22, 2024, Monday // 12:31|  views

Bulgaria stands to lose approximately BGN 1 billion each year due to its continued exclusion from full membership in the Schengen area, Economy Minister Petko Nikolov cautioned. Speaking at the Vienna Economic Forum alongside representatives from prominent international companies, Nikolov emphasized the urgent need for Bulgaria's accession to Schengen.

"The economic security of our region hinges on Bulgaria's full integration into the Schengen zone. Any delay in achieving this membership not only jeopardizes Bulgaria's economic potential but also impacts the entire region," stated Nikolov.

Highlighting the substantial benefits that would accompany Bulgaria's Schengen membership, Nikolov underscored the importance of addressing this issue promptly. He stressed that any postponement would only exacerbate the economic losses, not just for Bulgaria and Romania but for the entire region.

The remarks from Nikolov come amid ongoing discussions and negotiations regarding Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area, a critical step in the country's European integration process. The delays in achieving this milestone have raised concerns among Bulgarian officials and industry leaders about the economic implications of prolonged exclusion from Schengen.

Experts have long advocated for Bulgaria's full integration into the Schengen zone, citing the economic advantages it would bring, including increased trade, investment, and tourism opportunities. However, bureaucratic hurdles and political considerations have hindered progress on this front, leaving Bulgaria and its economy at a disadvantage.

As discussions on Bulgaria's Schengen membership continue, stakeholders are urging policymakers to prioritize the country's integration efforts. The economic benefits of full Schengen membership are evident, and the time to act is now to ensure Bulgaria's rightful place within the European Union's border-free area.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Schengen, membership, economy


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