France is refusing to start quarrels, weakening Europe’s capacity to control its migration flows, the French European Affairs Minister, Laurent Wauquiez, said, pointing out that Bulgaria and Romania are not ready to enter the Schengen zone.

During debates in the French National Assembly, focused on problems in Europe, Wauquiez has stated that France‘s position has been clear – Romania and Bulgaria do not stand in front of a closed door, but they need to meet the simple criteria.

Wauquiez has explained that border safety was one of the main criteria for Schengen entry. He added that Romania does not recognize its borders with Moldova, even though many people are passing through them.

In his words, this is the problem that prevents Bulgaria and Romania from entering the Schengen zone. Wauquiez also pointed out that the work that has been done against corruption is also not satisfactory.

His statement was confirming the position of his predecessor Pierre Lellouche and France‘s intention to block the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, the latest EU entrants, to the borderless Schengen Area.

The country hopes to join the EU‘s border-free zone by the end of 2011 as scheduled and the official line is that recent expulsions of mostly Romanian and Bulgarian Roma from France is irrelevant to that process.

A team of EU experts arrived in Bulgaria on Monday, December 6, to check if Bulgaria‘s efforts to meet the criteria of the Schengen Agreement are going as planned.

It is the seventh consecutive visit of Schengen experts in Bulgaria, but is considered crucial because of the awaited decisions on behalf of the European Commission and the EU Council.

Currently, Bulgarian citizens are allowed visa-free entry into the Schengen system and there is eased access to Bulgaria for Schengen visa holders, but the country is not a full member of the system.

Bulgaria submitted its formal declaration of readiness in September 2007 and sent European authorities follow-up reports, penning in March 2011 as the target date for accession to the Schengen zone.

The estimates turned meaningless due to a delay in the award of a tender to produce biometric passports and lack of progress on the second generation of the EU‘s Schengen Information System, more commonly known as SISII.

Last week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi declared that Bulgaria‘s accession to the Schengen Agreement will be one of the priorities for Hungary’s EU Presidency in the first six months of 2011.

However, Bulgaria and Romania‘s entry in Europe’s border-free zone soon is under question, as France, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria expressing their reluctance about the two Balkan countries joining the Agreement 2011, caused by the issues with the Roma migration and the faults in both states’ judicial systems.

Read the article on bulgarianbusiness.org.uk

France: Bulgaria, Romania Still Not Ready for Schengen Entry

France is refusing to start quarrels, weakening Europe’s capacity to control its migration flows, the French European Affairs Minister, Laurent Wauquiez, said, pointing out that Bulgaria and Romania are not ready to enter the Schengen zone.

During debates in the French National Assembly, focused on problems in Europe, Wauquiez has stated that France‘s position has been clear – Romania and Bulgaria do not stand in front of a closed door, but they need to meet the simple criteria.

Wauquiez has explained that border safety was one of the main criteria for Schengen entry. He added that Romania does not recognize its borders with Moldova, even though many people are passing through them.

In his words, this is the problem that prevents Bulgaria and Romania from entering the Schengen zone. Wauquiez also pointed out that the work that has been done against corruption is also not satisfactory.

His statement was confirming the position of his predecessor Pierre Lellouche and France‘s intention to block the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, the latest EU entrants, to the borderless Schengen Area.

The country hopes to join the EU‘s border-free zone by the end of 2011 as scheduled and the official line is that recent expulsions of mostly Romanian and Bulgarian Roma from France is irrelevant to that process.

A team of EU experts arrived in Bulgaria on Monday, December 6, to check if Bulgaria‘s efforts to meet the criteria of the Schengen Agreement are going as planned.

It is the seventh consecutive visit of Schengen experts in Bulgaria, but is considered crucial because of the awaited decisions on behalf of the European Commission and the EU Council.

Currently, Bulgarian citizens are allowed visa-free entry into the Schengen system and there is eased access to Bulgaria for Schengen visa holders, but the country is not a full member of the system.

Bulgaria submitted its formal declaration of readiness in September 2007 and sent European authorities follow-up reports, penning in March 2011 as the target date for accession to the Schengen zone.

The estimates turned meaningless due to a delay in the award of a tender to produce biometric passports and lack of progress on the second generation of the EU‘s Schengen Information System, more commonly known as SISII.

Last week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi declared that Bulgaria‘s accession to the Schengen Agreement will be one of the priorities for Hungary’s EU Presidency in the first six months of 2011.

However, Bulgaria and Romania‘s entry in Europe’s border-free zone soon is under question, as France, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria expressing their reluctance about the two Balkan countries joining the Agreement 2011, caused by the issues with the Roma migration and the faults in both states’ judicial systems.

Read the article on bulgarianbusiness.org.uk

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