Bulgaria, Romania partially join Europe’s Schengen area after thirteen-year-long wait – World News Network

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Sofia [Bulgaria], April 1 (ANI): After 13 years of negotiations, Bulgaria and Romania have partially joined Europe’s Schengen area of free movement on Sunday, as reported by Al Jazeera.
The two countries reached an agreement late last year to join the continent’s free-travel area by air and sea after Austria opposed full membership, including land crossings, saying Romania and Bulgaria needed to do more to prevent irregular migration.
Despite the partial membership, lifting controls at the two countries’ air and sea borders on Sunday has significant practical and symbolic value, Al Jazeera reported.
“Of course, this is a very beautiful achievement for Bulgaria which makes things easier for us, as Bulgarians,” said Mincho Yurukov, who arrived at Sofia airport from Berlin on Sunday. “Also, we feel like Europeans. That is a very important thing, the flight is much nicer, no checks.”
Created in 1985, the Schengen area allows more than 400 million people in the European Union to travel freely without internal border controls.
As partial members, the Schengen zone now comprises 29 members–25 of the 27 EU member states as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The membership is partial, however, as a veto by Austria means the new membership will not apply to land routes, which Vienna argued would lead to more asylum seekers travelling into Europe.
“I welcome the lifting of internal air and sea border checks. This is a great success for both countries,” President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said in a post on X.
https://x.com/vonderleyen/status/1774329962654216328?s=20
Additionally, the European Parliament President, Roberta Metsola welcomed the decision and termed it a historic day for the people of Romania, Bulgaria and all Europeans.
“Romania, Bulgaria, welcome to the Schengen Area! Today is a historic day – for the people of Romania and Bulgaria and for all Europeans. Let’s continue to move closer together for a united, safe, and more secure Europe,” she posted on X. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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