site.btaEU Home Affairs Commissioner Johansson Expects Abolition of Schengen Land Border Checks for Romania, Bulgaria by Year’s End

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Johansson Expects Abolition of Schengen Land Border Checks for Romania, Bulgaria by Year’s End
EU Home Affairs Commissioner Johansson Expects Abolition of Schengen Land Border Checks for Romania, Bulgaria by Year’s End
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson at a briefing in Sofia in April (BTA Photo/Minko Chernev)

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson expressed her expectation on Thursday that there will be a decision on the abolition of internal Schengen land borders for Bulgaria and Romania by the end of the year. She was speaking to journalists in Luxembourg, where the two-day EU Justice and Home Affairs Council is starting.

The EU Commissioner said that Bulgaria and Romania are in Schengen and all that remains is to abolish checks at internal (land) borders, adding that she foresees it happening this year.

Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden said she strongly believes in the need for Schengen to have no internal border checks. Citizens' security must be ensured, enhanced checks at external borders are needed, she said. "We are working, I hope we will make progress," the Minister added in response to a question about Sofia and Bucharest's expectation and Vienna's resistance. In December last year, Austria was the only EU country that did not support a complete abolition of border checks at the Bulgarian and Romanian Schengen borders.

The Belgian State Secretary for Asylum and Migration, Nicole de Moor, noted that this would be the last meeting of European Ministers of Interior and Justice under her country's Presidency of the Council of the EU. She added that ministers will discuss the future of visa policy amid reported abuses and expressed her expectation that the European Commission's proposal to extend protection for Ukrainian refugees will be approved.

/PP/

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By 15:19 on 20.07.2024 Today`s news

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