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The Netherlands Gave Bulgaria Green Light for Schengen Thanks to Constitutional Amendments, Justice Minister Atanas Slavov Says

 “The Netherlands gave us the green light for Schengen membership thanks to constitutional amendments, Justice Minister Atanas Slavov told Bulgarian National TV. 
Earlier on Friday, Reuters and the Dutch ANP news agency quoted the Dutch Justice Ministry as saying that the Netherlands agreed to Bulgaria joining the Schengen area.  “If we had not shown determination from the first day of this Government to change the Constitution, to change the legislation, to strengthen the rule of law, there would not have been such a decision”, the Minister said. “This is the message that we have sent to our partners, a very strong message – that problems we had been putting off for decades should finally be put on the table and the appropriate decisions should be made,” Slavov added.
He expressed his belief that next week the MPs will adopt on second and third reading the constitutional amendments that passed on first reading in Parliament in the beginning of December.
The Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Affairs will meet over the weekend to review the texts. According to Minister Slavov, some of the revisions are even better than those originally proposed, i.e. a step forward is being made on key issues, taking into account the opinions of the European Commission and the Venice Commission. This will achieve the two main objectives of this reform – an independent, just court and an accountable and responsible prosecution service, he added.
Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov told journalists in Brussels earlier in the day that Bulgaria expects the Parliament of the Netherlands to lift the veto on Schengen enlargement into Bulgaria and Romania in the coming days.
The Dutch government had a meeting on Friday and a decision about Schengen enlargement will be submitted to the legislature for a final sanctions, Denkov explained. He expects that to happen next week, if all things go as planned.