EP: Bulgaria and Romania Must Accede Schengen Area
26 July 2023
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

In a resolution adopted on 12 July 2023, the European Parliament (EP) reiterated its call on the Council to approve Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen area. MEPs regret that the Council rejected the countries’ accession in a decision of 8 December 2022 (→ eucrim 4/2023, 224-225). According to the resolution, this decision was without any legal justification related to accession criteria and motivated by national domestic political campaigns. In addition, the resolution stresses that the fact that Romania and Bulgaria are still outside the free-travel area burdens the businesses and populations of the two countries socially and economically. Considering the still existing border controls, the exclusion also results in damages to the environment and health. The EP shares the Commission’s position that Romania and Bulgaria have fulfilled all criteria to join the Schengen area. The current Spanish Council Presidency is called to prioritise the topic and deliberate Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession by the end of 2023.

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2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg
Thomas Wahl

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (MPI CSL)

Public Law Department

Senior Researcher