Schengen Issues

Project completed

The project aims to develop the personnel capacities of all stake-holders concerning Schengen topics with a main focus on SIS and SIRENE. Activities include training workshops, study visits, e-learning equipment, technical equipment for SIRENE, flyers for police officers and awareness-raising materials for civil society.
 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bulgaria
Enhanced security and safety
Border protection
07.09.2010 - 30.06.2015
CHF 125'747

Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.

Background

Under the EU roadmap, Bulgaria is expected to join Schengen on 31.03.2011. The abolition of controls at the internal borders will facilitate Bulgarian tourism. To offset the abolition of the systematic control of persons, police co-operation has been strengthened by establishing an automated search database throughout the Schengen area, each Member State having its own national centre – the SIRENE Bureau. Establishing a SIRENE Bureau that fulfils Schengen requirements and starting up the Schengen Information System (SIS) are two of the conditions for opening Schengen’s internal borders.

Objectives

The overall objective is to ensure that Bulgaria can join Schengen by March 2011. In co-operation with Switzerland, the project aims to increase the professional competence of the Bulgarian SIRENE Bureau officers, to prepare for the Evaluation, and to raise awareness about the effects of Schengen.

Target groups

Bulgarian SIS end users, SIRENE personnel, law enforcement; civil society.

Activities

Swiss assistance comprises mainly: a. Training Bulgarian law enforcement personnel in the area of SIS/SIRENE; b. Compiling and financing a second edition of a flyer for law enforcement agencies; c. Preparing for the Evaluation and in the implementation of eventual recommendations made by the expert group during the Evaluation; d. Financing of awareness-raising measures for civil society; e. Procurement of material needed to enhance functionality of the SIRENE Bureau and training.

Results

Achieved results:  

  • Establishment and professionalization of the SIRENE bureau Bulgaria that guarantee the compliant application of Schengen standards.
  • The e-learning tool at the disposal of the SIRENE Bureau Bulgaria contributs to a long-term anchorage of know-how and the inclusion of new members of SIRENE Bulgaria.
  • Every police officer in Bulgaria is informed about Schengen through the new tool on the most important information and contact details of relevant authorities.
  • Bulgaria's Schengen evaluation conducted by experts from EU Member States as well as a Swiss expert from FEDPOL were positive in the areas of police cooperation and SIS/SIRENE. As a result, Bulgaria fully participates in SIS II. The recommendations of the evaluation could be implemented without external support demonstrating the readiness and professionalism of the Bulgarian SIRENE Bureau.
  • The results of raising awareness of the Bulgarian citizens about the changes with the Schengen accession are mixed due to the fact that the accession of Bulgaria to Schengen didn't materialize during the collaboration period.
  • Spokespersons of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior and media representative have a positive perception of Schengen and the government's activities in this regard and information material is ready for distribution for a broad audience in case the accession is granted to Bulgaria in a near future.

 


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution
  • National State Institute North


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   125'747 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   113'237
Project phases

Phase 1 07.09.2010 - 30.06.2015   (Completed)