EU | Proposal for the accession of Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia to the Schengen area
Defence Redefined
Published on 17/11/2022 at 16:05

The approval of the participation of Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania in the Schengen free movement area is recommended by the European Commission, as announced by the Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johansson, at a press conference. 

As Mrs. Johansson pointed out, the three countries have proven that they can meet the demands in relation to the acquis communautaire for the Schengen area, which concern, among others, the effective control of the external borders of the Schengen area, the fulfillment of specific criteria in terms of the issuance of Schengen visas, effective cooperation with other Member-States, the use of the Schengen Information System and the safeguarding of fundamental rights and data protection criteria at the border.

The Commission calls on the EU Council to give the final green light to the three countries at the next meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on December 8. 

For the inclusion of countries in the Schengen area, the consent of the European Parliament is also required, which already approved the draft of the Council decision concerning Croatia on November 10, while with a resolution on October 18, it called on the Council to give the green light to Romania and Bulgaria.

Also read: PEGA | “Cyprus as a surveillance software export hub”

Cyprus’ evaluation to be held in 2023

Cyprus is the only EU country that remains outside the Schengen area together with Ireland (for which an exception applies for reasons related to the free movement of the United Kingdom, particularly Northern Ireland).

As stated in the communication issued by the Commission, the evaluation of Cyprus’ readiness to join Schengen is ongoing. In particular, the Schengen Information System in Cyprus will be implemented soon and this process will be validated with a special Schengen evaluation in 2023.

As noted, based on the Act of Accession of 2003, specific provisions of the Schengen acquis have already been in effect since the accession of Cyprus. On May 28, 2019, it is added that Cyprus declared its willingness and commitment to implement all parts of the Schengen acquis and to be subject to evaluations, to the extent possible given the specific circumstances of Cyprus set forth in Protocol 10 of the Act of Accession 2003.

Asked by the CNA to comment on the progress of the process in relation to Cyprus, Mrs. Johansson limited herself to note that it is an ongoing process.

Commenting more broadly on the situation in Cyprus and answering the same question, the Commissioner reminded that Cyprus is really under pressure and is one of the countries with the largest number of irregular arrivals and that the Commission actively supports the country.

Also read: Immigration | “Bloc” of front-line immigrant-receiving countries pushes for changes




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