Romania’s and Bulgaria’s Schengen accession 

Romania’s and Bulgaria’s Schengen accession 

After more than ten years of waiting: Bulgaria and Romania have been given the green light to join Europe’s free-travel Schengen area by air and sea from March 2024. However, some restrictions will remain in place.

Europe in brief: EU decides to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova

Europe in brief: EU decides to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico has said that the decision to open accession negotiations with Ukraine was being overrated. The Dutch government has decided to lift its veto on Bulgaria joining the Schengen area. The EU is supporting an Albanian awareness campaign aimed at informing travellers about the rules for transporting money in and out of the country.

Several Schengen countries tighten border controls to curb illegal immigration

Several Schengen countries tighten border controls to curb illegal immigration

A number of countries including Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia have announced new controls along their borders. They are trying to prevent people smugglers from using routes through the Balkans to bring migrants to Central and Western Europe. This puts pressure on the Schengen area of free movement and visa-free arrangements with third countries.

Europe in brief: EU tries to find common position on Israeli-Hamas conflict

Europe in brief: EU tries to find common position on Israeli-Hamas conflict

The EU member states issued a joint statement on respect for the rights of all citizens in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner offered the UK a closer economic relationship with the EU. Slovak diplomat Ivan Korčok continues to collect signatures for his presidential candidacy.