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Caretaker cabinet ready for countermeasures if Bulgaria’s Schengen membership is vetoed, PM says

Caretaker PM Galab Donev
Photo: BGNES

“Bulgaria meets all criteria for membership of the Schengen area,” caretaker PM Galab Donev stated at a briefing. “Bulgaria met the criteria for accession to Schengen, which are entirely technical, as far back as in 2011. That is something all members of the Schengen area know well, and that includes the governments of the Netherlands and Austria,” Galab Donev said.

After a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Ivan Demerdzhiev, Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov and Minister of Justice Krum Zarkov, PM Donev stated that they had reviewed the actions of the caretaker government from the past days and weeks for ensuring the support of Bulgaria’s European partners for the country’s membership of Schengen.

“During the meeting we also commented on the positions expressed publicly by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer,” the Bulgarian PM said. Galab Donev stated further that the European Commission had conducted two inspections in recent months, at the initiative of Bulgaria and Romania, which had resulted in a positive report. 

“A separate review was carried out by the Austrian embassy in Sofia a few days ago. The result is also positive. I regret to say that despite the invitation extended, the Netherlands chose not to take part in these reviews,” the PM said. 

The government is prepared for countermeasures if the Netherlands and Austria veto Bulgaria’s membership of Schengen, Galab Donev pointed out, and expressed the hope that “sound judgement will prevail” in the remaining days. 

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