| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Netherlands lifts its objection to Bulgaria joining EU’s Schengen zone

The Netherlands has agreed to Bulgaria joining Europe’s passport-free Schengen Zone, the Dutch justice ministry said on Friday, ending its long-held opposition to the move.

The Netherlands previously opposed granting access to the eastern European country, citing concerns over corruption and migration. But the ministry said Bulgaria now met conditions to join Schengen.

Austria still opposes Bulgaria joining the world’s largest passport-free area, though it said on Monday it was willing to give some ground by allowing plane travel in exchange for tighter security at the EU’s external border.

  • Reuters