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Schengen Area

Schengen Area:

Romania and Bulgaria partially joined the Schengen Area, Europe’s ID-check-free travel zone. This marks a significant step in the two countries’ integration with the European Union (EU).

  • Land border checks will remain in place due to opposition from Austria, which has long blocked their bid over concerns about illegal migration.
  • Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, while Croatia joined in 2013.
  • The Schengen Area, established in 1985, comprised 23 of the 27 EU member countries, along with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein before the partial admission of Romania and Bulgaria.
  • Around 3.5 million people cross an internal border each day within the Schengen Area.
  • The European Commission has stated for more than a decade that Romania and Bulgaria meet the technical criteria for full accession to the Schengen Area.
  • Full accession requires unanimous support from all member states.
  • Both countries have agreed to implement random security screening at airports and maritime borders to combat illegal migration and cross-border crime.