Balkans | Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen seems increasingly possible

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Balkans |  Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen seems increasingly possible

The European Commission has terminated the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, which monitors rule of law processes in Bulgaria.

In its reasoning, the Commission stated that Bulgaria and Romania had adequately fulfilled their obligations and that monitoring could continue, with annual reports following the rule of law, in accordance with the general mechanism provided to all EU countries.

Adrian Nikolov, an economist from the Institute for Market Economics, spoke exclusively to Radio Bulgaria and said:

“This is a sign of confidence that Bulgaria has clearly achieved something right, despite the period of uncertainty and political instability we have been experiencing for almost two years. However, this still does not guarantee our admission to Schengen from next year. It is not It is certain whether they will be the last obstacle for our country on this path.

Austria and the Netherlands remain the two EU member states that have expressed reservations about Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen. There are many reasons for these reservations, as evidenced by the security situations at the border. The economist said:

The “Capitan Adrevo” incident cannot be overlooked, as it showed the extent to which Bulgaria can play the role of an external Schengen border. There was no way that this scandal about corruption and the creation of a private customs house could not affect the image of the country, since in fact all kinds of illegal shipments were made for bribes. Perhaps the measures taken by the government at that time (the quadruple alliance between PP, DB, BSP and ITN) to end this corruption scheme may have played a positive role and perhaps the same challenge that will be taken is currently waiting for our Western partners.”

Discussions about Bulgaria’s Schengen membership began when our country joined the European Union in 2007 and are still ongoing. Unrestricted passages for large groups of migrants heading to Western Europe, often confined to the interior of our country, have become more frequent in recent months. Thus, these events have contributed to the insecurity in our country regarding border security. Interpol, who had criminal records at the beginning of last month

After the death of Angel Hristov, who is wanted by the Turkish army, in his home in the village of Resilovo in Kostendil, security on our borders is back in the fore once again. According to Adrian Nikolov, “This event did not show our country and our border control in a good light, in front of countries that had reservations about our country’s participation.”

It is difficult to say what losses Bulgaria suffered because it is not part of the Schengen area. By some estimates, delays in the transportation of goods at the border cost exporters and owners of shipping companies about 100 million leva annually. Unfortunately, it is not possible to negotiate compensation for the benefits our country missed. Nikolov continued:

This relates to trade relations and there is no way to compensate for the fact that Bulgarian importers cannot access EU markets more easily than German or French markets. Most likely, the issue will be resolved when we become part of Schengen. Before that, we must admit that our political problems have so far prevented the main opportunity to benefit from our membership in the European Union.

The economist commented on the political forces in Parliament on the issue of “Schengen” and stated that it is not expected that there will be serious contradictions about the government’s other main goal, which is its participation in the eurozone. According to Nikolov, our participation in this region will at least partially solve the problem of labor shortage in the economy and will facilitate employment opportunities for foreigners in the country.

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