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Bulgaria Lost Over $750Mln in 2024 Due to Schengen Zone Accession Delays - Reports

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Flag of Bulgaria - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.07.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Bulgaria has lost 0.7 billion euros ($757 million) in 2024, including 423 million euros in direct losses and 225 million euros in lost benefits, as a result of not being fully admitted to Europe's Schengen area, with the after-effects set to intensify along with economic integration, the Euractiv news website reported on Tuesday.
"The results of the full admission of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen are not a one-off effect but will intensify with deeper economic integration between European countries, which means that each successive postponement will cause greater lost benefits for both the Bulgarian and the European economy," Nikolov said, as quoted by Euractiv.
The economy minister estimated that Bulgaria's accession to Schengen land borders would lead to carbon savings from transport of about 3.75 million euros, as cited by the news website.
On April 1, Romania and Bulgaria partially joined Europe's Schengen Area of free movement by sea and air after over a decade-long process of waiting for admission. Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU in 2007.
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The Schengen visa-free zone previously included 27 countries, including all EU member states — except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania — and non-EU members Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
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