Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Bulgaria, Romania Take First Steps into Schengen zone

Sat 30 Mar 2024 | 04:58 PM
Israa Farhan

After a 13-year wait, Bulgaria and Romania have officially become part of the Schengen area, allowing for freedom of movement.

However, their land borders will remain closed for the time being due to Austria's veto on this move.

Despite this partial accession, limited to airports and seaports, the step holds significant importance.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hailed the move as a great success for both countries, emphasizing the historic moment for the Schengen area, which is the largest area of free movement globally.

She stressed the collective effort to build a stronger and more united Europe for all citizens.

Joining the Schengen area is seen as a matter of dignity by experts. Stefan Popescu, an international relations expert based in Bucharest, noted that every Romanian felt discriminated against when they encountered different treatment than other European citizens.

Popescu believes that this step enhances Romania's integration into the European Union and signifies a significant albeit delayed progression.