Bulgaria works hard to cover the Schengen Agreement criteria and join the zone March 2011, Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Nikolay Mladenov stated.
Thus, he answered France's Minister for European Affairs, Pierre Lellouche who recently announced that France will make sure that the EU decision on the Bulgarian and Romanian entry in the Schengen Agreement is not made before the summer.
"The expansion of the Schengen Zone should not be an automatic result from the process of technical evaluation of the candidate's progress, which has been running for two years," the French Minister declared.
Lellouche daclared that France supports the Netherlands, which has called for postponement of the decision on Bulgaria's Schengen accession at least until the release of the annual reports on the the country by the European Commission in the summer of 2011.
Minister Mladenov, though, stated that Bulgaria has improved its border control, which is a crucial requirement, since if the Bulgarian aspiration to join Schengen is to materialize, the country will be an external border of the Area.
The Balkan country has also started working with the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Interior Ministry recently has announced.
Meanwhile, the Romanian President Traian Basescu also stated that he is optimistic about his country' s chances to join the Schengen Zone as early as spring 2011.