NewsBulgaria set to enter Schengen zone in 2024 following Austria agreement, after a 12-year effort

Bulgaria set to enter Schengen zone in 2024 following Austria agreement, after a 12‑year effort

Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov
Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov
Images source: © Getty Images | KRISZTIAN BOCSI

1:24 PM EST, December 28, 2023

While Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov hasn't provided an exact date for Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen accession, it's confirmed that it will not happen on January 1, 2024.

The likely time frame is towards the end of March. However, approval from the committee of permanent representatives of member countries, followed by a nod from the Council of justice and Internal Affairs Ministers of the EU, is still needed.

Negotiations with Austria regarding Bulgaria and Romania's complete accession to the Schengen zone will continue. Sofia and Bucharest have been striving to achieve this for 12 years. According to the European Commission, all requirements have been fulfilled for years.

It's worth noting that as of early December, the Netherlands, which had previously opposed Bulgaria's admission for many years, retracted its objection.

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