site.btaIf Europe Is to Stay Competitive, Bulgaria and Romania Should Be in Schengen, Economy Ministers Say

If Europe Is to Stay Competitive, Bulgaria and Romania Should Be in Schengen, Economy Ministers Say
If Europe Is to Stay Competitive, Bulgaria and Romania Should Be in Schengen, Economy Ministers Say
Economy Ministers Bogdan Bogdanov of Bulgaria (left) and Stefan-Radu Oprea of Romania (BTA photo)

Europe's economic development and economic security depend on Bulgaria's and Romania's full integration into the Schengen area and the eurozone, Bulgarian Economy and Industry Minister Bogdan Bogdanov said on Thursday. Bogdanov and Romanian Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism Minister Stefan-Radu Oprea visited the Danube Bridge border checkpoint at Ruse.

Bogdanov said Bulgaria and Romania have proven their advantages.

The long lines of waiting trucks and the difficulty in crossing the border are harmful to business, he noted. Sometimes a truck driver has to wait more than six hours to get across the border from Bulgaria into Romania. "This is a serious problem for Europe," Bogdanov said. "If we want Europe to stay competitive, we should reach our long-cherished goal: Bulgaria and Romania should become fully integrated into the European space, our businesses should be competitive, and we should contribute to the economic development of Europe and the region."

He expects that Bulgaria's entry to Schengen and the euro area will raise the country's GDP by between 3% and 5%. "What matters to us is to show the economic potential of our region. We are talking about the economy which underpins the overall integration of Europe. We hope our partners will see all efforts Bulgaria and Romania have made over time," Bogdanov said.

For his part, Oprea commented: "We expect a positive vote for our two countries in two weeks' time. All expenses which come to our economic disadvantage ought to turn around for the benefit of our countries."

"Our competitiveness suffers," Oprea said. "The Romanian economy loses 0.5% of its GDP every year because we are not in Schengen. Every Dacia car bought by an EU citizen is more expensive by EUR 100 just because it waits for clearance at the border. Does anyone take stock of the thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide released every day at Romania's borders?"

Oprea said the two neighbours have met all technical requirements of the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The two economy ministers are in Ruse to take part in a Bulgarian-Romanian conference dubbed "United Europe: A Path to Economic Security and Sustainable Integration".

/PP/

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By 02:53 on 14.06.2024 Today`s news

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