site.btaInterior Minister in Brussels: Bulgaria's Schengen Accession Will Be Strong Signal of EU Unity Amid Serious Security Challenges
In the framework of his participation in the Justice and Home Affairs Council, Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov held talks with his Austrian counterpart Gerhard Karner on the topic of reaching a decision on Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area, the Interior Ministry's press office said Thursday.
Stoyanov briefed his colleague on the migration situation and authorities' work to counteract illegal migration: the pressure on the Bulgarian-Turkish border is high, and since the beginning of the year were prevented about 160,000 attempts to illegally cross the territory of the country. He highlighted the increased cooperation with Turkiye and stressed that as a result of the joint work and the organisation of the national forces, the number of people detained inside the country is decreasing. Active efforts are being made to secure EU's external border, including the gradual recruitment of additional border guards.
"We believe that Bulgaria's accession to Schengen will be a strong positive signal of EU unity against the backdrop of serious security challenges for the Union," the interior minister said. He added that the active political dialogue to change positions continues.
For his part, Karner pointed out that Austria appreciates Bulgaria's efforts and cooperation with Turkiye in curbing illegal migration. He identified the availability of sufficient European financial resources for the protection of the Union's external borders as a particularly important aspect.
Stoyanov also held a meeting with his Romanian colleague Catalin Predoiu. The continuation of coordination for a positive solution of the issue of the two countries' accession to Schengen in December, and joint measures to facilitate traffic across the common border were the topics of the talks, the Interior Ministry press office said.
Minister Kalin Stoyanov participated in the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels together with the Ministers of the Interior of the EU Member States and the Ministers of the Interior of the Latin American countries, members of the Committee on Internal Security (CLASI).