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Bulgaria Renews Push for Balkan Schengen Zone Status This Year

  • Interim government is working to join zone by December
  • Croatia may join in January, Romania also seeking membership

Bulgaria’s interim government is preparing a new effort to secure the country’s full membership of the European Union’s visa-free Schengen area by the end of this year along with two other Balkan states. 

While Croatia -- the bloc’s newest member -- may be able to join Schengen from Jan. 1, Bulgaria and Romania have remained on the outside amid criticism over corruption and organized crime, even as they fulfill the necessary technical requirements.