Study: Bulgarians Welcome Partial Schengen Entry, Seek Clarification on Migration Concerns

Photo: Stella Ivanova

A recent Gallup International Balkan study revealed that Bulgarians generally welcome their country's partial entry into the Schengen zone, indicating that full entry would be seen as a significant success if the government effectively addresses concerns about migration. The study, conducted from January 11 to 19, 2023, among 807 participants, highlights public sentiments regarding Schengen entry, with notable considerations for potential benefits and anxieties related to migration.

According to the findings, 30.3% of respondents believe that Bulgaria's admission to Schengen by air and sea will bring real benefits, while 38.7% think it will neither benefit nor harm the country. Conversely, 14.5% are concerned that it may bring real harm. When considering the prospect of full entry into Schengen, 50.6% of participants anticipate real benefits, 21% expect neither benefit nor harm, and 13.7% fear potential harm to Bulgaria.

Regarding the possibility of accepting more refugees for full Schengen entry, 24.6% find it more important for Bulgaria to join Schengen, even if it means accepting more refugees. However, a majority of 56.3% prioritize avoiding more refugee acceptance, even if it hinders Schengen accession. The study suggests that while attitudes toward partial acceptance are generally positive, full entry into Schengen would be perceived as a significant achievement.

The study also delves into public opinions on various historical and symbolic issues in Bulgaria. For instance, attitudes toward the dismantling of the Soviet Army Monument in Sofia were polarized, with 35.7% supporting and 40.3% disagreeing. The temporary closure of the Russian Church in Sofia faced negative responses from 62.7% of respondents, while the idea of changing the...

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