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Luxembourg backs Bulgaria’s Schengen bid

Published on 07/09/2011

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday backed Bulgaria's bid to join the EU's visa-free Schengen zone, adding that this should happen "soon", state BTA news agency reported.

“Bulgaria has made considerable efforts to improve security at the EU’s external borders,” Juncker was cited as saying by BTA in the Black Sea city of Varna, where he met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

“Bulgaria should become a Schengen member very soon,” he added.

Bulgaria and neighbouring Romania sought to join the visa-free travel area, which took its name from a town in Luxembourg, last March.

But their hopes were quashed by opposition from key EU members, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, which expressed reservations about the two countries’ ability to control illegal immigration and crime at the border.