Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Bulgaria and Romania joined the Schengen zone

On Sunday, March 31, after the 13th summer wait, Bulgaria and Romania have joined Europe's Schengen free movement area, allowing their citizens to travel by air and sea without going through border checks.

However, an Austrian veto means the new status will not be implemented extend to land routes. Let us recall that this was done after Vienna expressed concern about a potential influx of asylum seekers, reports the AFP news agency.

In this regard, one of the main road transport trade unions in Romania – UNTRR, called for "urgent action" for full integration into the Schengen area, as truckers face long queues at the borders. According to the union, they are forced to wait from eight to 16 hours at the border with Hungary and from 20 to 30 hours – on the border with Bulgaria, and in other cases the wait lasts up to three days.

Despite partial membership, the abolition of controls on the air and sea borders of the two countries has an important symbolic meaning.

"This is a great success for both countries and a historic moment for the Schengen area– largest free movement zone in the world– emphasized in a statement by the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, published on Saturday, March 30. – Together we are building a stronger, more united Europe for all our citizens.”

Together with Bulgaria and Romania, the Schengen area now includes 29 members – 25 of the 27 EU member states, plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Croatia became the 27th member of the Schengen area in January 2023.

The Romanian government said Schengen rules would apply at four seaports and 17 airports, with Otopeni Airport, located near the capital Bucharest, will become the largest hub for Schengen flights.

BAGNET notes that created in 1985, the Schengen area allows more than 400 million people to travel freely throughout Europe without having to go through internal border controls.< /p>

Prepared by: Sergey Daga

By admin

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