No more controls at the borders with Romania and Bulgaria, but only at the airport: the imaginary entry of the two countries into the Schengen Area

It has taken seventeen years of “purgatory”, but the wait is over: as of midnight on Sunday, March 31, Romania and Bulgaria will also become part of the Schengen Area, the area in which you can travel without having to show your passport at the border. . With many apologies for the delay, taking into account that the two countries of the former Soviet Union became part of the European Union on January 1, 2007. However, breaking the borders with Romania and Bulgaria has remained taboo for many countries for years in Western Europe. They fear the potential influx of “undesirable” citizens out of control – whether they are illegal immigrants, suspected criminals, or just low-wage workers. It has taken many years longer than all the other post-Soviet countries, all of which were integrated into the Schengen area from 2007 to 2008. Indeed, the wait is by no means completely over. Because what will finally be introduced as of March 31 will be the exception related to air and sea borders (the latter irrelevant) with other EU countries. But at the land border, which is clearly the most important, controls will remain in place. This is what Austria in particular wanted, which again objected last January to abandoning all restrictions. Vienna fears that opening the land borders will lead to an influx of asylum seekers that cannot be controlled by these two countries. “We want Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen area. “But this is not yet possible because the EU's external borders are not yet properly protected.” The Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) rules in Vienna.

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Pay the commission

Austria has promised to continue negotiations to overcome the last crucial hurdle. The European Commission can barely hide its annoyance. “Bulgaria and Romania have consistently demonstrated a high level of commitment in ensuring adequate protection of the EU's external borders, and have continuously contributed to the internal security of the Schengen Area,” the Brussels Executive stressed today in welcoming the decision with “great satisfaction.” Approaching the finish line. “Now it is up to the Council (i.e. Member States, Mr. Dr“A decision will be taken to determine the date on which internal border controls between Bulgaria, Romania and other Schengen States will be abolished,” states the Commission, openly hoping that the destination will be reached by 2024. But at this stage it seems clear that the decision in this regard will arrive, in Once he arrives, he will join the new legislative political session that will open after the European elections next June. It is best not to risk angering voters a few weeks before the vote: in Vienna and beyond.

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