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Schengen conditions for Bulgaria and Romania

Question écrite de M. Angel DZHAMBAZKI - Commission européenne

Question de M. Angel DZHAMBAZKI,

Diffusée le 19 février 2024

Subject: Schengen conditions for Bulgaria and Romania

On 30 December 2023, the EU Council issued a communication to its delegations on the admission of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen by air and water.

One part of the Annex to the Agreement is the so-called Joint Austrian, Romanian and Bulgarian statement. It contains five points outlining the continuation of joint efforts to combat ‘irregular migration’.

The Annex concludes that the measures serve as a precondition for a possible lifting of checks at the land borders between Bulgaria and Romania and those with their neighbours in Schengen.

This raises a serious question as to the conditions applicable to Bulgaria and Romania’s admission to the Schengen area by air and water. More worryingly, the conclusion to the Annex presupposes that further conditions will be imposed on the admission of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen area as regards land borders, and specifically the ‘improvement of the migratory situation in Austria’.

I would therefore like to ask the Council the following questions:

1. Are we to assume that these five points really are binding preconditions for the further integration of Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen area, including as regards land borders?

2. What indicator can be used to assess whether or not there has been ‘a significant improvement of the migratory situation in Austria’?

3. Is this ill-defined condition linked to the specific numbers of migrants returned to Bulgaria and Romania?

Submitted:20.2.2024

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 5 mai 2024

Reply

(2 May 2024)

The conditions for the participation of Bulgaria and Romania in the Schengen acquis are laid down in Article 4 of the Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania of 2005 (1).

According to that article, Bulgaria and Romania have been bound by the Schengen acquis since the date of their accession and have applied parts of the Schengen acquis since that date.

The remaining parts, linked to the lifting of controls at EU internal borders, can be applied in Bulgaria and Romania pursuant to a unanimous Council decision to that effect, to be adopted in accordance with Article 4(2) of the 2005 Act of Accession, after verification that the necessary conditions for the application of all parts of the acquis concerned have been met in those States.

On 30 December 2023, the Council adopted a unanimous decision on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in Bulgaria and Romania, establishing that checks at internal air and sea borders with these two member states would be lifted from 31 March 2024 (2).

That decision was adopted by written procedure. The communication (3) that registers the closure of the written procedure and the adoption of the decision also registers the statements introduced at the time of the adoption of the decision by members of the Council and the Commission. These statements registered in the Council’s records reflect their authors’ position.

Council Decision (EU) 2024/210 provides that the Council shall endeavour to take a decision lifting checks on persons at internal land borders.

1 ∙ ⸱ Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania and the adjustments to the treaties on which the European Union is

founded, OJ L 157, 21.6.2005, pp. 203-375.

2 ∙ ⸱ Council Decision of 30 December 2023 on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania,

OJ L 2024/210, 4.1.2024.

3 ∙ ⸱ CM 4950/23.






| | ) As provided for by Council Decision (EU) 2024/10, the decision lifting checks on persons at internal land borders shall be taken by the Council acting unanimously in accordance with Article 4(2) of the 2005 Act of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania.

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