Reply to Karner – Schengen veto dispute: Kogler contradicts ÖVP

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The Greens do not support Austria’s veto against Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen. Vice Chancellor and Green Party leader Werner Kogler emphasized this in view of the veto threats of Interior Minister Gerhard Karner and Chancellor Karl Nehammer (both ÖVP). “Austria still officially supports the fact that Romania and Bulgaria should join the Schengen area together with Croatia,” Kogler told Karner.

He also told the interior minister that the smaller coalition partner does not support his line, the vice chancellor continued. “Conversely, one must also say that if there is a Schengen border, there must also be controls there,” Kogler admitted to the “Tiroler Tageszeitung”.

Excitement in Croatia and Romania
Karner’s open criticism of the Schengen area, which is basically free of border controls, given the high migratory pressure on Austria and his threat to veto the Schengen accession of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia had caused a stir.

Chancellor Nehammer downplays Karner’s threat
The threat against Croatia was later put into perspective by Chancellor Nehammer: “We will support Croatia’s path to the Schengen area, and at the same time we will be very critical of Bulgaria’s and Romania’s efforts,” Nehammer said in Zagreb on Wednesday.

Romania’s interior minister, Lucian Bode, recently traveled to Vienna to personally talk to Karner about it, and his Bulgarian counterpart, Ivan Demerdschiev, called the ÖVP minister. Romania argues that few migrants pass through the country towards Austria.

The Czech presidency of the EU Council has made Schengen enlargement one of its top priorities and wants it to be voted on at the meeting of EU interior ministers on 8 December. The extension requires unanimity between the Schengen member states.

Source: Krone

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