The Netherlands government supports Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen visa zone

The government of the Netherlands has informed the country’s Parliament of its support for the accession of Bulgaria to the Schengen visa zone, according to a message on X ( on December 15 by the Netherlands’ ambassador to Romania, Willemijn van Haaften.

“The Netherlands already expressed its support for full application of Schengen acquis to Romania in December 2022. My congrats to both countries for the good work done,” Van Haaften said.

“Bulgaria meets the conditions set for joining Schengen, and therefore we can agree to a decision that leads to its full membership,” says the position of the government of the Netherlands, according to a report by Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).

However, the Dutch Cabinet has emphasised that post-accession monitoring is desirable regarding both border management and the rule of law, BNR said,

Earlier on December 15, Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said that by the end of the day, his government expected positive news about the Netherlands lifting its veto on Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen.

A final decision is in the hands of the Dutch Parliament.

Denkov has been attending the European Council meeting in Brussels on December 14 and 15, using the opportunity to further negotiations on removing Dutch and Austrian objections to his country being admitted to Schengen.

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.

The European Commission repeatedly has insisted that Bulgaria and Romania meet the requirements for admission to Schengen, but admission to the common European visa zone has been held up by Dutch objections to Bulgaria being admitted to Schengen, while Vienna has objected to the two countries’ admission to the zone. Recent years also have seen repeated votes in the European Parliament in favour of Bulgaria and Romania being admitted to Schengen.

(Archive photo: VOA)

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