ua en ru

Bulgaria and Romania partially joined Schengen area

Bulgaria and Romania partially joined Schengen area Photo: Bulgaria and Romania partially entered the Schengen area (flick com libereurope)

Bulgaria and Romania officially join the Schengen area on March 31st. However, this is only partial membership, according to the European Commission.

It is noted that controls at air and sea borders will be lifted. However, controls at land borders with other EU countries will be maintained for a certain period, with a decision on their removal to be made by the EU Council.

As reported by the European Commission, since December of last year, Bulgaria and Romania have taken all necessary measures to ensure the smooth application of Schengen rules from March 31, 2024.

President of the European Council, Charles Michel, welcomed Bulgaria and Romania joining the Schengen area.

"This will boost travel, trade and tourism and will further strengthen our EU internal market," he wrote on X.

Schengen area

The Schengen area now includes 29 countries - all EU member states except Cyprus, as well as Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

It is worth noting that in December 2023, Hungary threatened to veto Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area. In particular, Budapest demanded that Bulgaria abolish transit fees for Russian gas.