Friday, May 27, 2011

EUROPEAN UNION - Sofia is in no hurry to enter the Schengen

When is that Bulgaria will finally join the Schengen area? For the Bulgarian Commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva this question does not really make sense. According to her, which is more important now to Sofia is that membership is not done in haste. And it is in the interest of the Bulgarians not to focus too much on this agenda.

"As countries strengthen their border controls and where Europe is threatened by a wave of immigrants, our interest that our accession to the Schengen area is done step by step, because we have greater responsibilities, "said Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management that was visiting Sofia on May 9 last.

Kristalina Georgieva also suggested that the postponement of the accession of Bulgaria [scheduled for April 2011 but postponed indefinitely at the initiative of France and Germany to the chagrin of the Bulgarian authorities] was a good thing for Bulgaria thus avoid ending up in the front line of illegal arrivals to North Africa and the Middle East.

"As a member of Schengen, we would have an obligation to welcome and support these people. And I would say that ultimately, it is not worse than we are not in Schengen today," she said on air at Nova TV, a private television channel. For the ruling party (GERB) of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the accession to the Schengen area has been defined as "the number one priority" for Bulgaria and the Government believes that membership will be by the end of the year.

Yet as of today, no sign indicates a change in the position of France, Germany and other countries of the European Union (EU), Bulgaria should consider further results in its fight against corruption and organized crime. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said recently that within twenty-seven there was no "political support" for the accession of Bulgarians and Romanians.

According to Western diplomats, the threat of an influx of immigrants from North Africa is another barrier to accession. The southern border of Bulgaria [with Turkey] is particularly regarded as one of the most problematic sections of the external borders of the Union. Kristalina Georgieva also recalled that Bulgaria has fulfilled all the technical criteria and that it was secondary to whether the political green light for membership would be given "this month, next month, by the end of year or early next.


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