EC Urges Council of EU to Accept Bulgaria, Romania in Schengen
The European Commission said on Wednesday it is "high time" that Bulgaria and Romania become full members of the Schengen area and urged the Council of the EU to take the necessary actions in this regard, SeeNews reported.
Bulgaria and Romania have demonstrated their capacity to defend the EU's external borders, and should therefore become members of the border-free zone, the Commission said in a statement.
"[...] for Member States to confront threats in a united way, standing together in a stronger Schengen area, it is now high time that Bulgaria and Romania become full Schengen members. The Council should take the decision to approve their Schengen accession and lift controls at the internal borders between these two Member States and their EU neighbours," the Commission said.
Croatia will become a full member once all the criteria are met, the statement reads.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said earlier this month Bulgaria and Romania should become members of the European Union's borderless Schengen area as soon as possible.
"If we want to strengthen the protection of our external borders, then we need to open the Schengen area of free movement to Bulgaria and Romania immediately," Jean-Claude Juncker said.