No more Swiss air border controls for Romania&Bulgaria

Sursa: Pixabay

Passport checks for people flying to and from Bulgaria and Romania will be abolished at Swiss airports, as Swiss government has agreed to follow a recent European Union decision to lift internal border controls at air and maritime borders with Bulgaria and Romania.

On December 30, the Council of the EU unanimously decided to lift checks on people at the internal air and sea borders with Bulgaria and Romania, as from March 31, 2024.

Controls will remain in place at land borders but the council has hinted that a future decision will be taken on the matter, reports Act Media.

Switzerland, a member of Europe’s passport-free Schengen Zone, is following this decision. Romania and Bulgaria will also be able to issue their own Schengen visas themselves, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

The experience of Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area on January 1, 2023 has shown that a decision of this kind does not lead to a marked increase in immigration, non-EU member Switzerland said.

Existing instruments, including preventive measures, are used to combat illegal migratory flows and crime.

The EU’s decision follows 12 years of negotiations. Austria imposed its veto last year to protest against too many irregular migrants arriving on its territory, before agreeing to lift it in exchange for guarantees.

Sofia and Bucharest have agreed to step up their fight against irregular migration. Bulgaria and Romania, members of the EU since 2007, have also undertaken to fully apply European law, which stipulates that asylum applications must be processed in the migrants’ country of arrival.

The Schengen area, created in 1985, allows over 400 million people to travel freely in Europe without internal border controls. It includes 23 of the 27 EU member states as well as their associated neighbours Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.


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