Radev calls for support for Schengen
I expect from EU Member States to be more committed on dealing with refugees, the president said in Berlin
10 February, 2017We expect better predictability and commitment from all EU Member States with regard to supporting Bulgaria in a potential surge in the migrant wave, the country’s accession to the Schengen area and readmission of illegal immigrants on its territory, said Bulgarian President Rumen Radev in a joint press conference with President of the Federal Republic of Germany Joachim Gauck at Bellevue Palace in Berlin during the former’s official visit to Germany on 6 February. Rumen Radev noted that Bulgaria has met all technical requirements for Schengen area membership and has proven that it protects Europe’s external border in line with the Schengen criteria. “The fact that certain countries do not regard Bulgaria as ready to join the border-free union means that these technical criteria are beginning to be conflated with political and other considerations,” BTA cited the president as saying. He commented that Bulgaria cannot be effective in protecting these borders if it is not allowed access to the visa information system, the Schengen Information System, and added that the lack of such access increases the risk for all European citizens. Rumen Radev pointed out that choosing Germany for his first official visit as head of state is a testament to the great importance of the two countries’ relations. The Bulgarian president added that shared values and responsibilities of Germany and Bulgaria are centred round a common goal - a strong, prosperous and safe united Europe. Federal President Joachim Gauck underlined the importance of recognising Bulgaria’s determined efforts in protecting Europe’s external border. Europe will have to revisit some things over the following months and years, he commented. The message of how beneficial the European project is should reach as many people as possible, underscored Gauck, adding that the majority of the German people have a positive attitude towards Europe. “Bulgaria’s future is in the European model, which is why it is vital that we, as Germans understand the need for the European idea to be promoted in Bulgaria through gestures of solidarity,” he commented. Gauck noted that Germany and Europe are also interested in Bulgaria’s domestic political challenge - combating corruption. “We know that the country has been working on this problem for a long time and we hope to see results soon,” Gauck said.