The European Commission and the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU aim to facilitate the admission of Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen Area by year-end, according to Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries. He announced the plans in a recent speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, noting that both countries had satisfied the necessary requirements since 2011 and that continued border checks created unwarranted burdens. Sinkevičius also reported a 25% drop in migratory pressure on the Western Balkan route this year and progress in enhancing the security of Bulgaria’s and Romania’s borders in cooperation with the European Commission. He urged a swift decision on their admission. The European Parliament is anticipated to back a renewed call for Schengen expansion to include Bulgaria and Romania. Parliamentary committee rapporteur Gheorghe Falca described the proposed text as “courageous”, condemning the prolonged delay as an “abuse”, and called for reparations for damages endured over the past decade. Other MEPs echoed these sentiments, highlighting the Schengen expansion’s implications for European security interests, economic benefits, and free movement rights, while criticizing the stalling tactics for being politically motivated. They stressed the need for a decision to be taken soon, without regard for any impending elections.