Bulgarian Interior Minister Kalin Stoianov expressed hope that Bulgaria and Romania will be admitted to the Schengen area in December this year, emphasizing that the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union will do everything which is necessary for the finalization of this agreement. process.
According to Stoianov, since the beginning of the year, Bulgarian authorities have prevented a total of 160,000 illegal attempts to cross the border, compared to 100,000 recorded during the same period last year. SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Problems with illegal migration have been cited by Austria and the Netherlands as the main reason that led both countries to block immigration. Accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen area in December last year. However, recent figures show that Bulgaria has stepped up its efforts in this area.
Expressing hope that the country will achieve the necessary results in December this year, Minister Stoianov said that there were days in the previous month when illegal border crossings were around 1,000 to 1,500 per day.
The minister revealed that he would travel to Austria on October 4 to meet his Austrian counterparts, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov and a Bulgarian delegation.
I believe that we are moving in the right direction and we will do everything possible to change the position of Austria and the Netherlands regarding our admission to Schengen,” said the Bulgarian Interior Minister.
The minister said that the country had managed to minimize the number of arrests inside the state, which means that the services of the Ministry of Interior are actively carrying out their work at the border, according to the media report G4.
In recent months, the percentage of Bulgarians who transport, organize and provide logistics for illegal migrants in Bulgaria has decreased significantly.
He considered that this mainly concerns people from Ukraine, Moldova, Poland and other countries, emphasizing that there are fewer and fewer Bulgarians.
However, the Austrian authorities once again stressed that they remained opposed to the accession of these two Balkan countries to the borderless zone. The Austrian Foreign Ministry has previously said that as long as the Schengen system does not work, there would be no point in expanding it.
Last month, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said that he would sue Austria for vetoing the country’s membership in the Schengen zone.
Furthermore, Romania has already presented a law which, if approved, has been submitted to the Romanian Parliament. the law would force the country’s Interior Ministry to vote against any project from states opposed to its membership in the visa-free travel zone.
Asked whether Bulgaria would follow Romania’s example, the minister replied: “I have no way of commenting on Romania’s actions,” noting that the ministry will continue to do what it needs to do as the Ministry of the Interior.
Bulgaria and Romania have been waiting for more than ten years now to become part of the Schengen area; however, the process is not yet finalized.