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Estonia supports Bulgaria’s goal of joining Schengen Area

21. September 2010 - 17:15

Tallinn, Stenbock House, 21 September 2010 – Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, with discussions focusing primarily on enlargement of the Schengen area and bilateral cooperation in the field of IT. Prime Minister Ansip also briefed Tsvetanov on Estonia’s bid to become the host country for the EU’s new IT agency to be created.

Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetanov affirmed to Ansip that Bulgaria is working toward the goal of joining Schengen in 2011. Ansip said that if a candidate country meets all of the conditions for becoming part of the single visa system, the enlargement of the Schengen Area would be welcomed. “For Estonia, joining Schengen was very successful,” he said and added that people placed special value on the fact that they no longer had to spend time dealing with red tape while travelling. “Bureaucracy-free travel has also brought more tourists to Estonia,” said Ansip. “Even during the economic downturn, their numbers did not decrease.”

Prime Minister Ansip introduced the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister to the work of the Estonian e-government and briefed him on some of the more popular public services available online. The two officials also discussed the e-police. Minister of the Interior Marko Pomerants also took part in the meeting.