15 JUN 2011
By Valentina Pop
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Allowing Bulgaria and Romania to join the border-free Schengen zone is likely to spur irregular migration through Turkey and the Black Sea, an analyst from EU's police agency Europol said on Tuesday (14 June) in Sofia.
"The accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen zone has a potential to raise the pressure on the Turkish-Greek border and lead to increased targeting of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast by illegal immigrants," Jean-Dominique Nollet, head of Europol's Analysis and Information Department said during a conference in the Bulgarian capital.
Even if the entry of the two countries would not "change the face of the earth," he stressed the need for risk assessments and other appropriate measures to be taken, especially since the Balkan region has seen the biggest increase in smuggling and human and drug trafficking in Europe in recent years.
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