Bulgaria and Romania strengthen cooperation on border and migration management

Today, the European Commission is launching together with Bulgaria and Romania two Cooperation Frameworks on border and migration management. The Cooperation Frameworks build on the successful implementation by the two countries of the pilot projects for fast asylum and returns procedures initiated in March 2023 and allows for moving from ad hoc to sustainable solutions.

Bulgaria and Romania have given a new impetus to the joint efforts in managing the external borders and migration. Through the Cooperation Frameworks agreed today, the two countries will further contribute to the joint European efforts to address EU security at external borders* and migratory challenges. In particular, the focus will be set on:

  • Support for reinforced measures in the area of border management, asylum and reception, return system and enhanced police cooperation in the Schengen area;
  • Starting preparations to implement the New Pact on Migration and Asylum in Bulgaria and Romania, in particular regarding the national implementation plans.

The Cooperation Frameworks take into account that the Schengen acquis will be fully applicable in Bulgaria and Romania and that, as from 31 March 2024, controls at the internal air and sea borders shall be lifted. Against this background, it also includes actions to further reinforce cooperation between Member States, for instance, in the area of police cooperation, to address related cross-border challenges.

The Cooperation Frameworks will be implemented with the necessary support by the Commission and the relevant EU Agencies. In particular, today the Commission is launching a new funding specific action of 85 million EUR under the Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI) 2021 – 2027 to enhance national capabilities at the EU external borders. Bulgaria and Romania can now apply for additional funding to extend or upgrade the existing border surveillance systems; purchase of means of transport including with thermo-vision capabilities; purchase of operating equipment such as movement detection cameras and thermo-vision cameras and the development or upgrades of systems.

Next steps

Steering Committee meetings with Bulgaria and Romania will continue on a regular basis to implement the measures agreed under the Cooperation Frameworks. This will bring together the Commission, EU Agencies, including Frontex, EU Agency for Asylum and Europol, along with the two national authorities.


In March 2023, the Commission launched two pilot projects with Bulgaria and Romania. In October 2023, six months after the implementation of the pilot projects, the Commission took stock of the progress. Tangible results were achieved with best practices in the area of accelerated asylum procedures, effective returns, border management and reinforced cooperation with neighbouring countries.