This will have direct benefits for Greece as it will be connected by road with other EU Member States / we are in contact with the Swedish Presidency and the European Commission.

Greece’s Minister of Migration and Asylum, Nodis Mitarakis, was welcomed in Vienna by Austrian President Karl Nehhammer on Thursday, and yesterday he met with Interior Minister Gerhard Garner, reports Greek publication Naftemporiki as cited by Rador.

In a press release published in this regard, Greece is making efforts to support the request of Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen area. This enlargement will have direct benefits for Greece, as the country will be connected by road, within the Schengen area, to other member states of the European Union. For this initiative, Greece is in contact with the Swedish EU Presidency and the European Commission.

Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2005, and in 2011 they successfully completed the procedures to assess their access to the Schengen area, which was confirmed by the decisions of the Council of Ministers of the Interior on June 9, 2011. The European Commission has repeatedly expressed the view that both countries are ready to join the Schengen area without internal border controls.

In 2022, a new EU on-site mission was carried out at the initiative of Bulgaria and Romania, confirming that both countries continue to effectively meet the strict Schengen standards and have an exemplary track record of performance in terms of their application.

On 8 December 2022, the Council of Ministers of Internal Affairs discussed this topic and the full integration of Croatia. But while Croatia’s request was accepted unanimously, Bulgaria’s and Romania’s requests were rejected due to objections from both countries. (Austria and Netherlands). A majority of member states expressed their support for both countries, stressing that their accession would strengthen the Union’s credibility and security.

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Greece supports the annexation of Bulgaria and Romania, as it will contribute to stimulating the country’s economic activities and strengthening the security of the EU’s external borders through a land connection with the Schengen area.

In this regard, Nodis Midarakis said: “Greece is taking the initiative to support the request of Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen area. This enlargement will also have direct benefits for Greece, as it will be connected by road with other EU member states. I am here in Vienna with the Austrian Chancellor, Mr. Karl Nehhammer, and the Minister of the Interior, Mr. . I met with Gerhard Garner and next week I will visit Sofia and Bucharest. There are problems to be solved, especially problems related to migration, the security of our external borders, and we need a more coordinated but tough European policy. We are in contact with the Swedish Presidency and the European Commission for this effort”.

Source: Natfemboriki/ Radar

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