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Bulgaria, Romania Watch as EU Marks Schengen Anniv.

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TEHRAN, June 14 (ICANA) – The EU is celebrating the Schengen zone's 26th birthday, but Bulgaria and Romania were not “invited to the party”. Last Thursday their accession to the borderless area was postponed indefinitely by the interior ministers of the bloc, despite the positive vote in the European Parliament a day earlier.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 9:03:21 PM
Bulgaria, Romania Watch as EU Marks Schengen Anniv.

Both the Interior ministers of Bulgaria and Romania stressed they can't be more prepared to embrace the big responsibility for the protection of EU citizens. The rotational Presidency of the European Council also declared the 2 East European countries have lived up to all Schengen requirements.

But even the last two - the Schengen Informational System and the Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry - to which Bulgaria and Romania are already signatories, did not convince some member states of their preparedness.

The Interior Ministers of Bulgaria and Romania said corruption and crime were never within Schengen prerogatives, and that they are object to totally different evaluation mechanisms.

According to the Open Society Institute which has monitored Bulgaria's Schengen proceedings all the way through, in pre-election times many Western politicians are playing once again the anti-immigration card, and therefore won't allow 2 new members that soon.

Bulgaria and Romania were originally supposed to join the borderless Schengen zone in March 2011. Now Brussels diplomats hint at mid-2012, at earliest.

Not if, but when Bulgaria becomes external frontier to a borderless union that includes 22 EU members, 3 non-EU countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland), and 3 micro-states (Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City), it will have to safeguard the bloc from a potential immigrant influx from the Middle East.

This is the greatest concern of states like Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, as implementing the Schengen rules involves eliminating border control with other members.

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