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Hungary Anticipates Schengen Land Border Accession for Bulgaria and Romania by Year-End

Hungary’s Deputy Minister of the Interior, Bence Retvari, has underscored the significance of integrating Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen Zone concerning land borders by the end of this year.


Hungary Anticipates Schengen Land Border Accession for Bulgaria and Romania by Year-End

As Hungary holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU from July 1, 2024, until the end of the year, Retvari emphasized the necessity of prioritizing Schengen accession for these two Balkan countries on the EU Council agenda, urging against unnecessary delays.


During a press conference in Budapest, Retvari called on EU member countries to allocate additional resources to aid Bulgaria and Greece in securing their external borders. He expressed concerns about the challenges faced by these countries, including managing migrant flows and handling non-compliant and hostile behavior from some migrants toward border authorities.


The Deputy Minister urged the EU to bolster security measures across all external borders, warning that failure to do so could lead to the re-establishment of internal European borders, potentially disrupting the internal market. He emphasized the importance of solidarity among member states in better managing migration situations. “Migrants arriving at the EU’s southern borders do not seek to obey the law, often attacking border guards. They do not respect the EU, they do not cooperate with the authorities,” Retvari stated.


Since March 31 of this year, Bulgaria and Romania have officially been members of the Schengen Zone, eliminating border checks for sea and air travel. However, land border controls remain in effect.


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The land border accession for Bulgaria and Romania is among the main priorities of the Hungarian EU Presidency. Last month, Hungarian Ambassador to the EU, Balint Odor, confirmed that abolishing land borders for Bulgaria and Romania would be a top priority during Hungary's tenure in the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. He also noted that reducing the number of irregular migrants in these territories would be a significant task for Hungary.


In addition to facilitating land border accession for Bulgaria and Romania, Odor stated that the EU’s expansion to the Western Balkans and other candidate states from Eastern Europe would also be among Hungary's priorities during its presidency.

By fLEXI tEAM

 

 

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