site.btaEmployers, Industrialists Association: Bulgaria's Schengen Accession Should Not Be Postponed Yet Another Time
An open letter by the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (KRIB), addressed to the executive and legislative authorities in Bulgaria, and distributed by KRIB's press centre, reads that Bulgaria's Schengen accession should not be delayed yet another time.
The business insists on decisive action "in the remaining days and hours in order to be accepted into the Schengen area" and points out that any further postponement would be disastrous and inflict huge damage on Bulgaria's industry and economy and on the public interest of the country's citizens.
According to KRIB, Bulgaria has long met all the conditions for its accession to Schengen, but the issue is changing from technical to political. "As representatives of the nationally responsible Bulgarian business, we believe that Bulgaria's entry into Schengen is a national goal that stands above partisan interests. We believe that our country is losing opportunities to improve its investment climate and to attract investments every day. All business wants to develop without transport formalities and complications and expects to benefit from the economic advantages of the abolition of borders," the industrialists write.
Among the measures recommended by the industrialists is the use of the principle of reciprocity, "which includes the adoption of even drastic retaliatory measures against those who have put Bulgaria in a discriminatory position for years", referring in particular to "EU member states with a proven dual discriminatory approach towards Bulgaria". Let us assert our position that the protection of the external borders of the EU is a common responsibility of all member states, the industrialists also urged.
The Bulgarian Parliament adopted a declaration on Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area on November 17. In the declaration, the National Assembly declares its full support for the Bulgarian government's efforts to reach an EU Council decision on Bulgaria's Schengen membership by the end of 2022. The MPs appeal to the parliaments of the member states to support Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area, which will strengthen the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the EU. The Bulgarian Parliament calls on the Council of the EU to adopt a decision on the full application of the provisions of Schengen law to Bulgaria, ensuring the abolition of checks at all internal borders of the country - land, air and sea - from the beginning of 2023.
The country's accession remains uncertain now that it is clear that the Netherlands and Austria, and possibly Denmark and Sweden, are opposed. The issue is expected to be discussed during a Justice and Home Affairs Council on December 8-9. A decision for the enlargement has to be made by consensus.