Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz has publicly expressed his support for Bulgaria and Romania to join the passport-free Schengen Area.
„Schengen is one of the greatest achievements of the European Union and we must protect and develop it. This means… closing the remaining gaps and states like Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria meet all the technical requirements for full membership”he said at a speech at the Charles University in Prague.
In the past, Germany and the Netherlands have opposed Romania’s accession to the coveted Schengen Area over corruption concerns.
Last year, the European Parliament called for Romania and Bulgaria to receive full Schengen membership. The EU has Commission also made a similar recommendation.
Croatia has also been trying to join the Schengen area, but has been given no clear deadline. Romanian officials insist the country has been ready for years.
Entering the travel free Schengen Area would bring significant benefits for Romania and Bulgaria.
Romanian and Bulgarian citizens and cargo carriers will no longer have to go through the border check procedure with Schengen member states, slashing waiting times at the border.
If Romania and Bulgaria were in Schengen, there would no longer be long waits at the Romanian-Bulgarian and Bulgarian-Greek customs points.
The final decision on will be taken unanimously by all members of the European Council, meaning the heads of state or government of all EU member countries.