PM: Bulgaria expects positive news from Netherlands on Schengen

Bulgaria expects positive news from the Netherlands regarding Schengen, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov told journalists in Brussels on December 15 after the end of the European Council meeting.

The Netherlands has long objected to Bulgaria joining the Schengen visa zone, while Austria has been opposing the Schengen accession of Bulgaria and Romania.

Denkov said that on December 15 that the government of the Netherlands had made a decision on the subject, which it would table in the Dutch parliament, which has the power to decide whether to lift the veto.

“To make this possible, a long way was traveled in recent months – the laws adopted in the National Assembly, the work on setting up the special monitoring mechanism of Bulgaria, which is related to the rule of law, the positive results of the mission that came in November in Sofia with the participation of the Netherlands and Austria,” Denkov said, according to a statement by the Bulgarian government information service.

“These were all the right signs and they led to the fact that we expect positive developments from the Netherlands,” he said.

Reporters in Brussels quoted the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte as saying that his government’s decision would be announced later on December 15.

Before the start of the day’s meeting of the European Council, Denkov told reporters: “Schengen negotiations are ongoing and will be until the last day”.

It was not immediately clear what was meant by “the last day”.

Denkov said that on the night of December 12, he had held a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

“We explained that land borders are important to us and talked about how it could be approached. It remains for further discussion, the negotiations are ongoing,” Denkov said.

Asked about the proposal of the President of the European Council for the distribution of the planned increase in the EU budget for actions in the field of migration, he said that part of the funds would be directed to technical security of the Bulgarian-Turkish border and to sending additional patrols from other countries.


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