As Index writes, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper), which consists of ambassadors of the member states, discussed the expansion of the Schengen area to Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania as part of the preparations for the meeting of the Council for Justice and Internal Affairs next week.
No member state had objections to the proposal to admit Croatia to Schengen. According to their internal rules, some member statesmust obtain the approval of the competent committees in their national parliaments for their positions in the EU Council.
The governments of Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, and the Netherlands have submitted proposals to their parliaments supporting Croatia’s entry and are now waiting for their green light. All other EU and Schengen members have already confirmed their support for Croatia. Coreper will again have the expansion of the Schengen area on the agenda on December 7, a day before the meeting of interior ministers who should take the final decision.
Austria is allegedly against Bulgaria and Romania entering
According to diplomatic sources, the Dutch ambassador was against accepting Bulgaria, Germany supported all three countries, and Austria was against Bulgaria and Romania. Another diplomatic source told Hina that France is strongly committed to Romania.
The problem is that Bulgaria and Romania cannot be separated because the border between these countries was never even intended to be the external Schengen border. To separate the two countries, it would be necessary to prepare the protection of that border and organize the border crossings in accordance with the Schengen rules, and this would take several years.
According to this source, there may be pressure on those who oppose Bulgaria and Romania so that all three countries enter, but it is more likely that only Croatia will get the green light. On the agenda are proposals for two decisions, one for Croatia and one for Bulgaria and Romania. The decision requires the consent of all 22 member states in the Schengen area.
For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.