The European Parliament voted on Wednesday 487-77, with 29 abstentions, to adopt a resolution which supports the entry of Bulgaria and Romania in the Schengen area. This completes the procedure in the European Parliament.
The conclusive step is approval of the two countries' entry by the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council where an absolute majority is needed. The Hungarian EU Presidency expects that the Council will return to the matter of the Schengen accession of Bulgaria and Romania in September. MEP Carlos Coelho voiced expectation that a date at which a final decision on the two countries' bid to join the Schengen Area would be set already on Thursday.
Coelho, who is the European Parliament's rapporteur on this issue, said this at a news conference in Strasbourg. According to him, the date will be set at the Justice and Home Affairs Council session due in Luxembourg on Thursday. In his view, the date will be within the present year by all means. There are different assumptions: that it will be in the first two months of the Polish Presidency of the EU (July-August) or in September-October, said he. (Source: BTA)