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Bulgaria's Exclusion from Schengen Area: A Detailed Analysis of Financial Losses and Urgent Calls for Integration

Nikolay Rashkov, a member of the expert group on transport within the European Commission, has provided a detailed analysis of the significant financial losses incurred by Bulgaria due to its exclusion from the Schengen Area's land borders. According to Rashkov's assessment, Sofia suffers an annual tax revenue loss of approximately BGN 303 million, a figure that raises serious concerns given Bulgaria's existing budget deficit. Rashkov emphasized the gravity of this situation, stating, "The biggest loser is our country with missed taxes in the budget amounting to BGN 303 million on an annual basis." This substantial loss places additional strain on Bulgaria's financial stability, particularly amid ongoing budgetary challenges.

Bulgaria's Exclusion from Schengen Area: A Detailed Analysis of Financial Losses and Urgent Calls for Integration

Further elaborating on the economic impact, Rashkov highlighted that the continued enforcement of border controls results in a staggering missed economic opportunity for Bulgaria, exceeding BGN one billion annually. Additionally, he underscored how these controls lead to an average increase of 15 to 18 percent in consumer prices, further exacerbating financial pressures on Bulgarian citizens. Despite Bulgaria and Romania's recent integration into the EU's Schengen Zone for air and sea travel, land border controls persist.


Recent calls from the European Parliament have urged for the prompt removal of land border controls for Bulgaria and Romania by the year's end to alleviate extensive truck queues at their borders. However, the decision on land border accession has been deferred by the Council of the European Union until after March 31.



Rashkov passionately argued that Bulgaria's yearly financial losses could have been averted had it achieved full membership in the Schengen Area. He emphasized Bulgaria's fulfillment of all necessary membership criteria, including robust protection of its external borders.


Highlighting the gravity of legislative decisions within the European Parliament, Rashkov stressed the importance of representatives well-versed in transportation and logistics. He cautioned against the potential disruption in transportation should the issue of border controls remain unresolved. Rashkov's detailed assessment underscores the urgent need for Bulgaria's integration into the Schengen Area to mitigate significant financial losses and enhance the country's economic stability.



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