President Klaus Iohannis claims that he was “disappointed” and “angry” after the vote in the JHA Council, in which Austria blocked Romania’s accession to Schengen.
“The vote from the JHA Council is very problematic for all of us in Romania and I must say that I was disappointed and angry after receiving the result of this vote.On November 16, a meeting of EU interior ministers took place, at the end of which the interior ministers issued a statement that was very clear: Romania and Bulgaria are welcome in Schengen. Also signed by the Minister of the Interior of Austria, who two days later said he could not admit it,” the Romanian president said.
“When the vote was taken, an interesting thing happened. Austria argued that the Schengen area cannot be expanded because there are too many migrants, but for Croatia it knew how to vote yes.Even the Romanians did not understand where this refusal came from. People are outraged. In politics we are elected to solve the nation’s problems. This vote does not make me back down. I will stay connected to the phenomenon,” he added.
Iohannis said that there will be another meeting of the European Council on Wednesday and Thursday where he will raise the Schengen issue. He added that although a new vote will take place when the JHA council meets, it is hard to believe that in so few days there will be a change of opinion on the Austrian side.
The Romanian head of state pledged he will not let things unfinished and that he will forward an action plan to make further progress on the Schengen file.
“I will take things further and I am convinced that we will find a solution. We will continue discussions with the Austrian side and the European Commission.An upset or frustration of this type has never stopped me. I will be totally involved.Romania’s integration into the Schengen Area remains a national strategic goal and my personal goal. What needs to be done? All possible avenues must be pursued to find a diplomatic solution to this issue. What are the concrete steps, we will discuss along the way, today I will not give you anything concrete, but on Wednesday I will probably present two or three actions that I will initiate to progress on this Schengen file,” he said.