Bulgaria's Schengen Land Border Talks Set for 2024, Says Deputy PM

Gabriel and PM Denkov

Bulgaria's journey toward integration into the Schengen Area marked a notable development as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel disclosed plans to negotiate the country's accession to Schengen for land borders in 2024. This revelation emerged during the parliamentary Question Time on Friday.

The European Union's members recently agreed to eliminate air and maritime internal border controls with Bulgaria starting March 31, 2024. What does that mean exactly read here. The agreement also outlines the initiation of negotiations in 2024 to set a specific date for the removal of checks at land borders. Gabriel emphasized that Bulgaria would actively participate in these negotiations, exercising its voting rights.

The EU Council's decision, announced on December 30, 2023, highlighted a significant step forward in Bulgaria's Schengen journey. The commitment to working towards abolishing checks at land borders is a pivotal aspect of this decision. A trilateral declaration with Austria delineated Bulgaria's and Romania's commitments to enhancing Schengen's functioning. Simultaneously, the European Commission (EC) pledged its support to Bulgaria and Romania in securing the EU's external borders.

As part of this support, Bulgaria is set to receive substantial financial assistance from the European Commission. Additionally, operational and technical aid will be provided by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to fortify the Bulgarian-Turkish and Bulgarian-Serbian borders.

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