“Greece is taking initiatives for a faster admission of Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen Area,” Bulgarian Interior Minister Ivan Demirjev said at the joint press conference held after his meeting with Greek Minister of Immigration and Asylum Netis Mitarachi.
During the meeting between the two ministers, issues of illegal immigration and Bulgaria’s entry into the Schengen area were discussed.
Demirjev stated that “Minister Mitarashi has committed himself to mediation so that Bulgaria can be admitted to Schengen more quickly.” He was optimistic that this would happen in the second half of this year.
“We discussed with our Greek counterpart how to protect the EU’s external borders,” Demirjev said, and they agreed on the need to strengthen the focus on protecting the EU’s external borders, and to show greater solidarity in the fight against illegal immigration to Bulgaria. And Greece, he added that financial assistance is necessary for both countries in this regard.
According to Minister Demirjev’s statement, both countries see dialogue with Turkey as playing a major role in the success of efforts to combat illegal immigration.
Mitarashi added that Bulgaria and Greece maintain an excellent level of bilateral cooperation and are conducting talks in the spirit of mutual understanding and trust. The Greek minister explained that they discussed the possibilities of dealing with illegal immigration with Demirjev, and stated that “as member states that protect the external borders of the European Union, we face common challenges.”
Mitarashi is committed to the need for an effective and clear framework for the protection of the EU’s external borders and a system of solidarity with the member states on the front lines.
The Greek minister said, “We need to agree on urgent measures regarding the external borders, and we have a common position with Bulgaria that protecting the external borders is the only way to strengthen them.”
Mitarashi stated that the admission of Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen Area is important not only for both countries, but also for the European Union, and that Greece is disappointed with their decision not to accept them. Therefore, Greece is trying to accept Bulgaria and Greece into Schengen faster, since they meet all the requirements.
Greece’s Minister of Immigration and Asylum said that accepting both countries into Schengen would send a very strong message of political unity to the European continent, especially in times of war.
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