Schengen: PES disappointed that European unity falters at key moment

Schengen: PES disappointed that European unity falters at key moment

Croatia - Slovenia border

Croatia is a welcome addition to the Schengen club, but failure to admit Bulgaria and Romania is a serious blow for European unity at a time when it is needed most. Right-wing governments must take responsibility for once again frustrating the hopes of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, European socialists said today.

The Party of European Socialists (PES) strongly backed the accession of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia to the Schengen Area – a move recommended by progressive European Commissioner Ylva Johansson and long-demanded by socialist and democratic campaigners.

PES President Stefan Löfven said:

“The PES is committed to protecting and promoting the Schengen Agreement – one of the European Union’s greatest achievements. That is why we are disappointed that European unity has faltered at this key moment.

“As the PES Congress resolution reaffirmed, we believe Romania and Bulgaria have earned full Schengen membership. It will now be important to take stock and determine how this process can be taken forward effectively.”

The European Commission declared some weeks ago that Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia were all ready to fully participate in the Schengen area. Despite complying with all the technical instruments specific to the Schengen area, today’s decision regrettably means Bulgaria and Romania will continue not to benefit from this. The PES believes that the EU is stronger with the enlargement of Schengen and hopes that the political hesitations of some Member States will not undermine the process.

At the PES Congress in Berlin in October 2022, delegates adopted a resolution which called for Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia to be admitted fully into Schengen. It stated “we [PES] want to protect and promote the Schengen Agreement which one of the greatest achievements of the European Union, and see Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia join it without further delay.” The European Commission’s recommendation to admit the tree countries was welcomed by the PES last month.

Stefan Löfven

Stefan Löfven

PES President