Bulgaria and Bulgarian business are suffering losses of hundreds of millions of leva because we are not part of the Schengen area.
Austria and the Netherlands owe answers to the whole of democratic society, which wants a United Europe without borders, Europe of free movement of people, goods, services and capital- something they are blocking. The return of border controls between certain countries cannot be an excuse or a motive. The main flow of migrants does not pass through Bulgaria.
The last three years have had a severe impact on the Schengen accession process because recent bulgarian governments have not had a clear foreign policy.
This is what Vladimir Kissiov, former deputy foreign minister and former chief negotiator for Bulgaria's accession to the European Union, said in an interview with BGNES.
With him we discuss the reasons for the decision of Austria and the Netherlands to block Bulgaria's accession to Schengen and the real goals behind this policy, discussing how Bulgaria is dealing with the migrant crisis compared to Greece and Italy. Kissov also comments on what Bulgarian politicians should do to deal with this problem.
The policy of blocking Bulgaria and Romania's path to the Schengen area is definitely wrong, says Kissiov.
"You cannot decide something that is settled in the accession and membership treaties. This is not justified in any other way than by internal power struggles in one's own country. This decision reflects on Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people. Moreover, it does not depend on migrant flows," said the former chief negotiator for Bulgaria's EU accession.
"If you follow the statistics carefully, you will see that the main flow does not pass through Bulgaria. Those citizens who have settled in Austria or the Netherlands pass through other countries. Our border is relatively secured than all the borders of Europe. Anyone who has been to Italy knows the flow of refugees. It is the same on the islands of Greece with thousands of people. It is not the same here in Bulgaria," Vladimir Kissiov continued.
He emphasized that drownings and accidents (with migrants - ed.) do not happen in our Black Sea coast or at our maritime border, but in the Mediterranean Sea.
"This underlines even more that the main migrant flow is not coming through Bulgaria. All politicians, including Western ones, should be clearly aware that if this external border was not secured as it is currently in Bulgaria, the flow to Western countries would be ten times greater."
Kissiov expects a partial decision on the Schengen question in December, which, however, will not satisfy the Bulgarian interest in its entirety.
"This partial solution will open the borders and the Schengen area only through the air borders. But this is not the solution to the economic losses Bulgaria is suffering. In principle, I am optimistic. And as chief negotiator I was optimistic and I dare to say that thanks to the optimism of me and the people I worked with - far more intelligent than the current rulers, because all of them had left the research institutes with two or three languages and were involved in the state administration - then Bulgaria achieved the greatest successes," the former deputy foreign minister said. /BGNES