The EU agrees on the gradual entry of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen border-free area

country of European Union (EU) agreed unanimously gradual entry Of romania And bulgaria In this schengen free movement area After Austria, the last of the twenty-seven countries that opposed the measure, lifted its veto.

The decision implies that, starting in March, controls at internal air and sea borders will be abolished with the two countries that joined the EU in 2007, with a commitment from Austria, Bulgaria and Romania following later. The date will be agreed upon for the end of ground controls, reported the current Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU.

“Congratulations to the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria on the extension of Schengen to sea and air transport passengers,” European Council President Charles Michel said via his profile on the social network X.

Michel said this is “a long-awaited step for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens to enjoy easier freedom of movement with the possibility of land transportation.”

Sources in the Spanish Ministry of the Interior described the agreement – ​​which is the culmination of twelve years of negotiations – as “historic” and assured that it was one of the priorities of the Spanish presidency of the EU Council.

He also said that the progressive lifting of controls at the internal borders of Bulgaria and Romania would “strengthen and expand” the European Free Movement Area and facilitate the movement of millions of people with a very positive social and economic impact throughout the region. . ,

Austria confirmed its withdrawal of its veto on the agreement, which Romania had announced earlier on Wednesday and Bulgaria on Thursday.

The Romanian Prime Minister, Marcel Ciolacu, assured that the agreement would also include maritime travel, benefiting the port of Constanta on the Black Sea, and he was confident that full accession would be negotiated in 2024.

Although the European Commission and the European Parliament have been maintaining for years that Bulgaria and Romania, which have been EU members since 2007, were ready to enter Schengen, Austria had blocked their entry until now.

The Schengen Treaty establishes the removal of border controls between its member states, which currently covers 4.3 million square kilometers and 423 million citizens of 27 European countries (23 EU members and 4 non-EU members).

With information from EFE

(TagstoTranslate)Bulgaria(T)Schengen Area(T)Romania(T)European Union

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