Bulgaria and Romania join Schengen

Apr 11 | 2024

Bulgaria and Romania became members of the Schengen area on 31 March, 2024. The Schengen rules now apply in both EU Member States, including the issuing of Schengen visas and the lifting of controls at the internal air and sea borders.

Ursula-Von-Der-LeyenPresident of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said:“I welcome the lifting of internal air and sea border checks. This is a great success for both countries. And a historic moment for the Schengen area - the largest area of free movement in the world. Together, we are building a stronger, more united Europe for all our citizens.”

Bulgaria and Romania have continuously demonstrated a high level of commitment in ensuring an adequate protection of the EU external borders and have constantly acted as key contributors to the internal security of the Schengen area.

The Schengen area, without control at its internal borders, is one of EU citizens' most cherished achievements. What started as an intergovernmental project between five Member States in 1985 – Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – has gradually expanded to become what is today the largest area of free movement in the world.

Photo: Ursula von der Leyen.