Fact Check: Schengen Entry Is NOT Tied To Bulgaria Accepting Millions Of Illegal Migrants

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  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Schengen Entry Is NOT Tied To Bulgaria Accepting Millions Of Illegal Migrants No New Terms

Will Bulgaria be filled with millions of illegal migrants, accepted quickly and unconditionally under the Dublin Agreement, in order to enter the Schengen area? No, that's not true: In a joint statement, the prime minister and deputy prime minister of Bulgaria refuted this and confirmed that there are no new conditions related to the number of migrants from Syria and Afghanistan that Bulgaria and Romania will register as a result of becoming Schengen member states.

The claim аppeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on December 29, 2023, under the title (translated from Bulgarian to English by Lead Stories staff) "So it's not about Bulgaria being an equal member (of Schengen), rather than pushing millions of illegal migrants into the country!" It opened (as translated):

Did you see what is the cunning plot of the Sorosoids? Let's flood Bulgaria with illegal migrants. What would I do if I was a Prime Minister or a President? I would close the sky over Bulgaria to introduce the Bulgarian Schengen. The evil European dogs deserve an evil stick. But Bulgaria has never had real men in politics, only traitors.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-01-03 231436.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Jan 3 21:14:39 2024 UTC)

Bulgaria is set to join the Schengen area at the air and sea borders starting in March 2024. This means that Bulgaria will be part of the border-free area within the European Union (EU), which allows for free movement of people between member countries. With the announcement of the country's acceptance into Schengen, numerous social media posts have been circulating the false claims that the condition of the country's acceptance was linked to the acceptance of many new illegal migrants and unconditional acceptance of all migrants under the Dublin Agreement.

Bulgaria's entry into the Schengen area and its obligations under the Dublin Agreement are two separate issues. Bulgaria 's accession to Schengen is a two-stage process: opening air and sea borders, followed by land border negotiations. Austria's Interior Minister Gerhard Karner announced a softening of Vienna's stance, offering passport-free travel by plane from those countries in exchange for tighter border security measures. Bulgaria's Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov stated that Bulgaria won't accept additional refugees as a Schengen condition, focusing instead on improved migrant entry controls. The exact conditions for Bulgaria's Schengen accession are still under negotiation.

The Dublin Agreement is an EU law that assigns responsibility for asylum applications to one specific EU country. Criteria include family ties, visa status and entry method. All EU countries, including Bulgaria, must process these applications. Bulgaria, like all EU member states, has responsibilities under the Dublin Agreement to process asylum applications, but this does not mean that it will be "filled with millions of illegal migrants." Each application is individually assessed, and the New Pact on Migration and Asylum ensures shared responsibility among EU countries.

On December 31, 2023, Prime Minister Denkov and Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel issued a joint statement on Bulgaria's Schengen accession:

Screenshot 2024-01-04 004633.png

(Source: BTA screenshot taken on Wed Jan 3 22:46:35 2024 UTC)

Lead Stories has previously debunked the claim that Bulgaria's accession to Schengen is not related to the war in Ukraine.

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