The Commission of the European Union has asked the European Council to adopt the decisions allowing Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria to be part of the Schengen borderless area.
The Commission’s comments came through this year’s State of Schengen Report, the first time the Commission has presented such a report, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The statement said that the three Balkan countries mentioned above have fulfilled all the conditions to be part of the passport-free zone. Furthermore, he underlined that the same will be the case for Cyprus once it successfully completes the Schengen evaluation process.
The Commission of the European Union has constantly demanded the accession of Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania to the Schengen area; however, such a process has not yet been finalized.
Last year, the Council of the EU agreed that Croatia had fulfilled all the conditions to become the newest member of Schengen; however, the Balkan country is still waiting for such a process to be completed.
In this regard, the Commissioner for Home Affairs of the European Union, Ylva Johansson, stressed that the Schengen area should be completed by allowing Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania to take their place in the passport-free zone.
In June last year, Johansson said that “This summer inspires us to fully restore freedom of movement and to prepare Schengen for the future so that our children can work, study and travel throughout Europe, whenever and wherever they want,” no progress has yet been made in this regard.
The report also highlighted several other priorities resulting from the Schengen evaluations, which currently cover the management of the external borders, return, police cooperation, the Schengen Information System, as well as visa policies and data protection. .
The findings are part of the European Commission’s initiative to strengthen Schengen governance through an annual reporting exercise presenting the state of the Schengen area, identifying priorities for the year to come and monitoring progress at the end of a given year.
According to European Commission Vice-President Margaritas Schinas, the borderless Schengen area has united the European continent and is emblematic of the European way of life.
“Over the past year, we have taken decisive steps to further strengthen Schengen governance and restore confidence in this crucial engine of our economies,” Schinas, pointing out that the report shows that the commitment to ensuring that Schengen emerges stronger from the variety of challenges it has encountered.