The Schengen agreement and the Eurozone are considered two cornerstones of the European integration project. Recently, the Eurozone is viewed as the building block for further EU integration, where the countries will be divided into the inner tier of Eurozone members and another tier of those outside it.
Bulgaria is still aspiring to enter both Schengen and the Eurozone. Until few years the country had these as top priorities and even came close to entry – by meeting the technical criteria for Schengen membership in 2011 (please, see EuPI Policy Brief No32/June 2011 for more information) and getting ready to enter ERM II as the necessary step for the Eurozone. However, the country did not make it and for different reasons the two goals were silently taken off the priority list of Bulgaria in hopes there would be better times and opportune moments.
The survey shows that in 2014:
- The majority of Bulgarians continue to support accession to Schengen with 57,2% with small opposition of 12,2%; The support remains very high, despite a decline of 10% in comparison to 2011.
- A growing number of Bulgarians oppose changing the national currency lev for the euro with close to 65% and a drop in support of 20% compared to 2011, but continue to favor the currency board that pegs the lev to the euro with nearly 47%.