Published: December 17 2023
Hungary has issued a warning to Bulgaria regarding the latter's punitive tax on gas transits. If Bulgaria continues to enforce this tax, Hungary has stated that it will veto Bulgaria's Schengen membership due to the negative impact on gas transfers.
Hungary's Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó, expressed his disapproval of Bulgaria's decision, stating that it puts gas transfers to North Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary at risk. He described Bulgaria's move as scandalous and hostile, as it goes against European regulations and could potentially lead to a complete halt in natural gas deliveries.
Schengen Membership Decision
Hungary has revealed that a decision regarding Bulgaria's Schengen membership is scheduled to be made in the coming week. However, if Bulgaria cancels the punitive tax, Hungary will withdraw its decision to veto Bulgaria's Schengen accession.
The threat of a Hungarian veto on Bulgaria's Schengen membership is rooted in Bulgaria's punitive tax on gas transits. Hungary is concerned about the negative impact this tax will have on gas transfers and has called on Bulgaria to reconsider in order to avoid any potential disruption in natural gas deliveries.
Questions & Answers
Why is Hungary threatening to veto Bulgaria's Schengen membership? Hungary is threatening to veto Bulgaria's Schengen membership because Bulgaria has implemented a "punitive tax" on gas transits which endangers gas transfers to North Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary. This decision goes against European regulations and carries the risk of natural gas deliveries to Hungary stopping completely.
What is the current situation with Bulgaria's Schengen membership? A decision on Bulgaria's Schengen membership is scheduled to be made next week. Hungary has stated that if Bulgaria cancels the punitive tax on gas transits, they will withdraw their decision concerning the veto.
What are the implications of Hungary vetoing Bulgaria's Schengen membership? If Hungary follows through with its veto, it would prevent Bulgaria from becoming a member of the Schengen Area. This would mean that Bulgaria would not have the same freedom of movement and borderless travel rights as other Schengen member countries.
How does Hungary receive its natural gas supplies? A major part of natural gas supplies required by Hungary arrive through a pipeline that is affected by Bulgaria's "punitive tax" on gas transits.
What is the role of the Schengen Area in Europe? The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport control at their mutual borders. It allows for the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within this area.