site.btaMEPs Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Vlad Botos: Bulgaria and Romania Must be Admitted into Schengen
Bulgaria and Romania should be admitted into Schengen, MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk and his Romanian colleague Vlad Botos said during the conference titled Bridge of Expectations: Schengen's Importance for Bulgaria and Romania, organized in here on Friday.
This is yet another important initiative because the question of Schengen, in addition to being of a national and European nature, also has a regional one - especially for cities like Giurgiu and Ruse, said Kyuchyuk, who is the organiser of the forum.
In his words, it is important to reaffirm the position that it is imperative for the two neighbouring countries to be part of the Schengen area. This will be of huge help for businesses, for citizens, Kyuchyuk said.
Bulgaria should adopt legislation that will undoubtedly give confidence to countries like the Netherlands that the processes that have started, such as the fight against corruption and organized crime, will be a consistent policy of the Bulgarian Government.
"On the other hand, we have to find the best way to attract Austria to our side, said Kyuchyuk.
Accoroing to him, the idea of a so-called mini Schengen between Bulgaria and Romania will not work because it does not solve any of the problems.
Vlad Botos, who is Vice-Chair of the European Parliament's regional development committee, said Bulgaria and Romania should be in Schengen. "Our place is there because we have fulfilled all the conditions. I came from Romania and was delayed at the border because of the huge queues of vehicles. This cannot go on like this. Every effort must be made to persuade the two governments of the Netherlands and Austria for our countries to enter Schengen," Botos argued, adding that Bulgaria and Romania enjoyed the full support of the European institutions.
Bulgaria's Ambassador to Romania, Radko Vlaykov, said he finds it inexplicable and unfair that the two countries were not in Schengen."Delaying the accession of the two countries would lead to disappointment in society. This fuels anti-European forces in our two countries. The next few days are crucial for our accession to Schengen," Vlaykov said.
Brandusa Predescu, Romania's Ambassador to Bulgaria, said she and Ambassador Radko Vlaykov are working closely together and this demonstrates the level of bilateral relations. Romania and Bulgaria have a strategic partnership. In Predescu's words, the two countries should make more use of the instruments offered by the European Union to achieve their goal.
Halil Letifov, who chairs the Bulgarian Parliament's Transport and Communications Committee, spoke about the effect borders have on the transport sector. "Both countries are suffering losses, but so is the whole of Europe," Letifov said. He noted that according to estimates by the Union of International Carriers in Bulgaria, about BGN 100 million leva a year are lost by the sector industry because Bulgaria is not in Schengen.
Gergana Passy, President of PanEuropa Bulgaria and moderator of the discussion, said that the two countries have always won when they were together.
Among the participants in the conference were the Deputy Chair of the National Assembly, Filiz Hyusmenova, Bulgarian and Romanian MPs, as well as business representatives.