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EP Gives Green Light to Bulgaria’s Schengen Memebership

Date: 09.06.2011

The European Parliament has given almost unanimously its green light for Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen border check-free area. The two countries have met the entry conditions, based on Commission progress reports, the MEPs said on Wednesday, but added that Parliament should be kept informed of additional measures taken in the Bulgaria-Turkey-Greece area to cope with a possible surge in migration pressure. The parliament's opinion was adopted with 487 votes in favor, 77 against and 29 abstentions. It will now be sent to EU home affairs ministers' meeting on Thursday in Luxembourg.

After considering progress reports on the two Member States and the findings of expert follow-up teams, MEPs concluded that although some remaining issues will require regular reporting and further attention in the future, they do not constitute an obstacle to full Schengen membership for Bulgaria and Romania.

"The free circulation of people is one of the major achievements of the EU, and Schengen is one of the great pillars of the EU. This is the reason why we are one of those who believe that the Schengen area shouldn't be weakened in any way. On the contrary, it should be preserved and strengthened" - said Carlos Coelho MEP.

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