Karl Nehammer: Until the Schengen is fixed, expansion is unthinkable. It has nothing to do with Romania and Bulgaria

Karl Nehammer, the chancellor of Austria, said on Tuesday in Vienna that the Schengen extension is currently “unthinkable” in his country’s view, saying that it has nothing to do with Bulgaria and Romania, the Bulgarian press agency bta reports.

The Austrian official also said that “the Schengen area must be fixed. Until Schengen is repaired, we cannot expand it”, arguing that the security of the European Union is paramount. He also stated that the EU Foreign Ministers claim that Schengen no longer works and that is why more and more member states are reintroducing border controls.

In a statement given to journalists, after the meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov, Nehammer also said that the problem with Schengen is a security issue and has nothing to do with Romania or Bulgaria. The two officials had a one-on-one talk, which was later followed by bilateral talks, with the participation of the Bulgarian delegation, which includes Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov and Deputy Foreign Minister Elena Shekerletova.

More and more countries are introducing border controls, which means that the Schengen system no longer corresponds to its original role, Nehammer pointed out. He stated that 75% of migrants intercepted in Austria are not registered, which is a security problem.

“We are very grateful to Bulgaria for all the efforts and sacrifices it makes to protect the external borders of the EU and therefore of Austria,” added the Austrian chancellor. The EU knows very well that Bulgaria and Romania contribute to Schengen and, therefore, it must support them financially, the Austrian chancellor emphasized.

Treaties with third countries from which migrants come should be strengthened and a system of legal migration should be created, said Nehammer, who supports increasing financial aid to Bulgaria in terms of border protection. “The protection of the external borders is of great importance, which I also understood from the terrorist attack in Israel committed by Hamas on October 7,” Nehammer emphasized.

“We must fight against terror, which cannot be a solution to political problems and which only brings hatred, destabilizes society, reduces trust in the legal system of countries. We must oppose Hamas, because Hamas is responsible for the chaos and terror in Israel , and for the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza,” he added.

Nehammer announced that he will visit Israel on Wednesday, together with the Czech prime minister: “we will have talks to show that we are on Israel’s side.”

austriaborder controlsBulgariachancelloreu foreign ministersKarl NehammerRomaniaSchengen
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