Hungary Expects a Decision on Schengen Land Border Accession for Bulgaria & Romania by the End of This Year

Hungary’s Deputy Minister of the Interior, Bence Retvari, has highlighted the importance of including Bulgaria and Romania in the Schengen Zone, in terms of land borders, by the end of this year.

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Hungary is holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, which began on July 1, 2024, and will last until the end of this year, Schengen.News reports.

The Minister emphasized the importance of keeping the issue of Schengen accession for these two Balkan countries on the EU Council agenda while adding that unnecessary delays should be avoided in order to reach a resolution.

During a press conference held in Budapest, Retvari called on the EU member countries to deploy additional resources to support Bulgaria and Greece in securing their external borders.

The minister also highlighted concerns related to challenges that these two countries are subject to, among them managing migrant flows while noting incidents where migrants have been non-compliant and hostile towards border authorities.

The Deputy Minister called on the EU to enhance security measures across all external borders, while emphasizing that not doing so could lead to a re-establishment of internal European borders, potentially disrupting the internal market.

Retvari also highlighted the necessity of solidarity among member states in better-managing migration situations.

Migrants arriving at the EU’s southern borders do not seek to obey the law, often attacking border guards. They do not respect the EU, they do not cooperate with the authorities.

Hungary’s Deputy Minister of the Interior, Bence Retvari

From March 31, this year, Bulgaria and Romania officially became members of the Schengen Zone abolishing border checks for sea and air travel, however when it comes to land borders, controls continue to remain effective.

Land Border Accession for Bulgaria & Romania Among Main Priorities of Hungarian EU Presidency

Last month, the Hungarian Ambassador to the EU, Balint Odor,  said that the abolishment of land borders for Bulgaria and Romania will be among the top priorities of Hungary once it begins holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Back then, the ambassador said that reducing the number of irregular migrants in these territories would also be among the main tasks of Hungary.

In addition to helping land border accession for Bulgaria and Romania, the Hungarian Ambassador to the EU said that the EU’s expansion to the Western Balkans and other candidate states from the eastern part of Europe is also among the priorities of the Hungarian Presidency.