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Serbs file for Bulgarian and romanian citizenship

Date: 30.07.2007

An increasing number of Serbian citizens from the southeast have been attempting to secure citizenship papers from Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the European Union on January 1, 2007.

Stringent EU visa requirements limit the mobility of Serbian passports holders. In contrast, those bearing of Romanian and Bulgarian documents can travel through Europe with the rights afforded all other EU nationals.

About 1 500 people from this part of Serbia were granted Bulgarian passports in 2006, according to the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network BIRN.

Unofficial data shows that 30,000 additional applications have been submitted to Bulgarian Ministry of Justice for processing.

The first condition for obtaining Bulgarian citizenship is proof of Bulgarian origin. A a valid document proving ties to Bulgaria through parents or close kin is required.

Romania has not yet granted citizenship to any members of the Romanian minority in Serbia.

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