Romanian Interior minister meets Austrian counterpart on Schengen issue. Karner: “We are not open”

The Austrian Minister of the Interior, Gerhard Karner, announced on Wednesday in a joint press conference with Cătălin Predoiu that Austria opposes the expansion of the Schengen area. Predoiu met in Vienna with his Austrian counterpart to discuss Austria’s opposition to Romania’s accession.

“Our position is that the Schengen system as a whole does not work, therefore we are not open to its expansion. There are border controls already. The system as a whole does not work, at this moment it is not opportune to expand the Schengen area”, said Gerhard Karner.

The Romanian Minister of the Interior said that “Austria does not have a problem with Romania”: “The Romanian police are doing their job and we are ready to continue this work together. We will support Austria, the EU and member states to reform asylum procedures.

I presented all Romania’s progress since the action plans were jointly worked on. Progress also exists with the border police, the migration figures, but also with the Romanian police for combating all forms of cross-border crime. (…) Our ambition as a ministry is to make Romania a model, a standard for border protection. Migration is a very serious subject, we are ready to cooperate with the Commission, with the member states”, Predoiu also said.

Regarding accession to the Schengen area, the Romanian interior minister said that: “Schengen is a matter related to the EU treaty. The Commission, the European Parliament have their role. Romania carries out its diplomatic actions multilaterally”.

The accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area was rejected, at the end of last year, within the Council of Justice and Internal Affairs of the EU, held in Brussels, with two votes against, by Austria and the Netherlands.

Austria reiterated its position last week after a meeting between Olaf Scholz and Karl Nehammer.

At the joint press conference, Nehammer praised the fact that, for the first time in the European Union, Bulgaria’s “incredibly large challenges” in terms of migration, “due to its long external border with Turkey” are receiving more attention, the publication reported Austrian Volksblatt.

austriaAustrian Minister of the Interiorborder controlCatalin PredoiuGerhard KarnerKarl NehammerOlaf ScholzRomaniaRomanian Interior ministerSchenegen
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