Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte dashed Bulgaria and Romania's hopes to soon join the Schengen visa-free travel area, saying ahead of an EU summit that the two countries are still not prepared.
"We believe that Bulgaria and Romania have not done enough," prime minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday, as quoted by Agence France Presse. "They have made progress, but they haven't done enough to fulfill all the Schengen criteria as we see them."
Speaking to Bulgarian journalists in Brussels, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said for him Schengen was "a closed subject", the state-run Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) said. "Bulgaria has met all criteria under the rules laid down by the EU itself," he added.
Any decision to expand the 25-nation Schengen area needs a unanimous vote. The Netherlands remains the only EU member state opposed to Bulgaria's and Romania's entry in the Schengen area.