MEPs Set to Reiterate Support for Bulgaria and Romania’s Schengen Accession by End-2023

The European Parliament will debate on Tuesday evening a draft resolution saying that Bulgaria and Romania should be admitted to the Schengen area by the end of 2023 and will put it to the vote on Wednesday, according to the agenda of the last plenary session before the summer recess.

The MEPs are expected to state that both countries have met the conditions for joining the Schengen free-travel area. The draft document says an enlarged Schengen area will make the EU stronger. All citizens of Bulgaria and Romania are discriminated against because they face delays and additional costs when travelling or doing business abroad, compared to their counterparts from the Schengen countries. Besides, the veto on the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area can lead to anti-European sentiment in these countries, the draft resolution says. It also emphasizes the implications of non-accession for the economy and the environment of the two countries.

The draft document calls on the European Commission to estimate the financial losses, missed gains and environmental damage incurred by Romania and Bulgaria, as well as by the EU as a whole, since 2011 due to the fact that they are not Schengen members, and to analyse possible mechanisms for the compensation of financial losses incurred by the two countries.

The European Parliament has repeatedly supported the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, most recently in a resolution on October 5, 2022 and a debate on December 14, 2022, the press release says.