site.btaPrime Minister on Schengen Entry: "We Stand Every Chance of Achieving Positive Result at Year's End"

Prime Minister on Schengen Entry: "We Stand Every Chance of Achieving Positive Result at Year's End"
Prime Minister on Schengen Entry: "We Stand Every Chance of Achieving Positive Result at Year's End"
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Taking an MP's question Friday about the possibility for Bulgaria to join the Schengen area by the end of this year, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said: "We should keep working the way we have done so far, and if the National Assembly does its job about the counter-corruption commission and the amendments to the Constitution, which are part of the process, and if we keep up our diplomatic efforts by working in unison rather than creating tension among us, then we stand every chance of achieving a positive result at the end of the year."

"In fact, the greatest risk is right here, in this chamber. I hope it does not materialize," Denkov said.

He was speaking at oral questions time in the National Assembly, responding to a question by MP Hristo Daskalov of Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria about what has been done over the last few months for Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area, how far the government has gone in the talks with its EU partners, and whether accession this year is feasible. Daskalov noted that the EU member states are expected to discuss the matter in a few days.

The Prime Minister went on to say: "Indeed, this is one of the most important priorities of Bulgaria in the current period. It is about correcting an injustice which impedes Bulgarian business, impedes Bulgarian citizens and causes hundreds of millions of leva in losses every year."

Denkov further said: "What we could do was to have a clear plan supported by a legislative programme adopted by you in this National Assembly and diplomatic efforts by Mariya Gabriel [the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister], and a clear position of Bulgaria conveyed by myself as Prime Minister and by the ministries, to show that Bulgaria belongs in the Schengen area because this is beneficial not just for the Bulgarian citizens, it is also beneficial for Austria and the Netherlands, which have had reservations, and for all Europe."

Denkov continued: "What we have managed to do during this period is formulate clear arguments about the benefits for countries like Austria, show our progress on our legislative programme, which was of concern to the European Commission and the Netherlands." He also stressed that border protection has been strengthened by the Interior Ministry and its agencies.

"What we have now is a highly positive report published yesterday, which confirms the conclusions of the mission organized by the European Commission and involving representatives of Austria and the Netherlands that we meet absolutely all criteria for entry to the area," the Prime Minister said.

/MY/

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By 15:18 on 05.03.2024 Today`s news

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