Friday, June 18, 2010

Bulgaria, Romania a step closer to Schengen visa zone

Bulgaria and Romania are a step closer to having their border checks with the Schengen area lifted, following a vote on June 16 2010 at the European Parliament, according to a European Parliament media statement.

The most recent assessments show that both countries comply with data security requirements for connecting to the Schengen Information System, the database used by border control agents to exchange information in the fight against crime and illegal immigration, the statement said.

The European Parliament approved the next step towards both countries' accession to the SIS when MEPs adopted a report by Carlos Coelho (EPP, PT) by 525 votes to 18, with 54 abstentions, approving the Council decision which is a first move towards the lifting of border controls.

A working group asked to verify whether Bulgaria's and Romania's branches of the SIS system ensure satisfactory levels of data protection has reached an overall positive conclusion, so paving the way for further tests before the end of 2010.

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