No chance of UK bringing back visas for Bulgarians and Romanians, Bulgarian FM Mladenov says

There is no chance of the United Kingdom bringing back visa requirements for Bulgarians and Romanians, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov said on October 8 2012, asked to respond to statements by UK home secretary Theresa May that the Tory government was “looking at this whole area of the abuse of freedom of movement”.

Interviews with May and with UK prime minister David Cameron were published in the British press on October 7, with the messages from the two apparently crafted to play to a euroskeptic audience.

British media said that it was “understood” that May’s comments indicated that there could be a return to the UK demanding that Bulgarians and Romanians, whose countries joined the European Union in 2007, be allowed entry to Britain only with visas.

Mladenov, in an interview on television station bTV, said that in fact in 2014 UK labour market restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians were being lifted in full.

He said that the UK was undertaking a serious analysis of its commitments towards the EU. This internal debate in the UK had nothing to do specifically with Bulgaria and Romania.

The statements were electioneering linked to the Tory congress, he said.

The EU had a number of fundamental principles, among them the free movement of labour. The UK was among the countries that benefitted the most from this, Mladenov said.



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.