S&D Group President: Romania and Bulgaria are Ready to Join Schengen


Romania and Bulgaria should join the Schengen area "as soon as possible" as they meet the relevant criteria, according to Gianni Pittella, president of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D Group) in the European Parliament, according to Romania Insider. 

The S&D MEPs called for Bulgaria and Romania to be admitted to the Schengen passport-free area during a debate requested by the S&D Group in the European Parliament on strengthening the Schengen area.

"Romania and Bulgaria are ready to join and we will continue to press member states to stop blocking their accession. We wrote to President Tusk to urge him to act on this, but so far his response has been vague and elusive. We cannot accept this. President Tusk and the Council must stop postponing matters due to selfish national interests and let Romania and Bulgaria join immediately. Europe must stand by its promises," Pittella said.

The S&D Group president also said that Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia "are already successfully protecting the EU's South Eastern borders," and "their entry into Schengen could boost Europe's economy by facilitating easier access to some of Europe's biggest southern freight ports."

He also stated that the Schengen area is "the largest free travel area in the world and one of the biggest achievements of the European Union."

"It makes citizens' lives easier, boosts our economies and enhances mutual trust and security cooperation between its members."

The European Commission officially asked the European leaders to accept Romania and Bulgaria in the Schengen area at the end of September. At that time, the EC argued that both countries have demonstrated their capacity to defend EU's borders.

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