Interior Minister: Bulgaria working on two-track plan for Schengen entry

Interior Minister: Bulgaria working on two-track plan for Schengen entry

Bulgaria is working hard to comply with the requirements for joining the Schengen visa zone in two stages, the country's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said as quoted by Agence France Presse on November 17 2011."All requirements to be allowed into the Schengen area are being met, although we face economic and political difficulties," Tsvetanov told journalists in Helsinki.The statement comes a few days after Finland said it had partly lifted its opposition to Bulgaria and Romania entering Schengen.Tsvetanov said that Bulgaria's Government had earmarked funds to guarantee that it had fully complied with border control, anti-corruption and crime-fighting programmes. He called existing Schengen members to make a fair assessment of the progress made by Sofia and Bucharest."We need to take note of the criteria that have been laid down for each candidate for Schengen accession and whenever the country has met those criteria, they cannot be changed," he said.In September, Finland and the Netherlands blocked the admission of Bulgaria and Romania into Schengen at a meeting of EU interior ministers. Finland has already expressed willingness to back the two countries' admission, but the Netherlands is still opposed to their Schengen membership.Despite the opposition of the Dutch government, Bulgaria still hopes that a decision on its Schengen entry will be made by the end of 2011. (Source: The Sofia Echo)

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