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Bulgaria and Romania overcome Austria’s objections and get partial approval to join Schengen Area

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria and Romania have received permission to join Europe’s passport- and visa-free Schengen Area starting in March. Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov told reporters on Thursday that the move initially will apply only to travelers arriving by air and sea, while Austria has committed to continuing negotiations over the need for border checks when crossing from the two countries by land. Austria previously blocked Bulgaria’s and Romania’s entry into the Schengen Area over concerns about illegal immigration. The Schengen Area was established in 1985. Before Bulgaria and Romania’s partial admission, it comprised 23 of the 27 EU member countries along with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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