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Schengen area: Controls at air and sea borders with Bulgaria and Romania will be lifted

The Commission welcomes Council’s decision to remove internal air and sea border controls between Bulgaria and Romania and the countries of the Schengen area as of 31 March 2024. Welcoming both member states into the Schengen area will boost travel, trade and tourism and contribute to strengthening the internal market.

Discussions on a further decision to lift controls at internal land borders will continue throughout 2024. To assist Bulgaria and Romania in the protection of the external borders of the Union, substantial financial support and Frontex assistance will continue to be provided.


The Commission first confirmed that both Bulgaria and Romania were ready to become part of the Schengen area without internal border controls in 2011. Since then, Bulgaria and Romania have continued to demonstrate that they fulfil the conditions for becoming Schengen members. This was reconfirmed by three fact finding missions at the Bulgarian and Romanian external borders in 2022 and 2023. The Commission also launched pilot projects with both countries in March 2023 to strengthen external border management, reinforce cooperation with neighbouring states and ensure fast asylum and return procedures.

More information

State of Schengen Report 2023

Link:, dated January 4, 2024 9:39 am

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