Bulgaria and Romania are not allowed into Schengen, unlike Croatia

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Bulgaria and Romania are not allowed into Schengen, unlike Croatia

The Schengen area welcomed a new member for the first time in more than a decade. Ministers approved Croatia's membership from 1 January 2023. However, Bulgaria and Romania, which were also on the list of applicants, will not be able to enjoy the benefits of visa-free entry to the Schengen countries — ministers from the 27 EU countries did not agree and did not vote unanimously for their accession.

According to available information, the hopes of Bulgaria and Romania to become new members of the Schengen zone were buried by Austria. The Austrians welcomed the entry of Croatia into the Schengen, but did not support the accession of other Balkan countries, Bulgaria and Romania, which also met all the necessary requirements.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer explained his position: “We need more time. We currently have 75,000 undocumented illegal migrants in Austria. This means that they somehow crossed the external border of the EU and got to Austria. This needs to be resolved first.

On the other hand, Germany once again expressed its support for the accession of all three countries to the Schengen area.

Both Bulgaria and Romania, starting since 2011, we have been consistently preparing for entry and, as a result, we have met all the technical conditions, however, as it turned out, this is not the end of the story.

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