Bulgaria, Romania take first steps into Europe’s visa-free zone


BUCHAREST: Bulgaria and Romania joined Europe’s vast Schengen area of free movement on Sunday, opening up travel by air and sea without border checks after a 13-year wait.
A veto by Austria, however, means the new status will not apply to land routes, after Vienna expressed concerns over a potential influx of asylum seekers.
Despite the partial membership, the lifting of controls at the two countries’ air and sea borders is of significant symbolic value.