Despite international headwinds and criticism from its coalition partner, the ÖVP on Friday defended its veto against the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to Schengen. “With the veto, we have sent a clear signal and we hope that the Commission will now take appropriate steps in the joint fight against illegal migration. We can no longer stand by and see how the asylum pressure on Austria continues to increase,” emphasizes ÖVP Secretary General Christian Stocker. And he points out that the federal SPÖ also supports the Schengen veto.
Stocker specifically refers to recent statements by SPÖ party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner. It recently rejected the planned Schengen extension. “If we see that irregular migration has increased dramatically in Austria in recent months, that external border surveillance is not working and controls are not working, then the timing is definitely not right and not the right one,” she said in a statement . ATV report end of November Interview.
“SPÖ has come to its senses”
For Stocker, the SPÖ federal party has come to its senses in recent days. He does not accept criticism of the Schengen veto. “The criticism is directed against the security interests of the people. Due to the security situation, there was no alternative to the right of veto against the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to Schengen.”
“The EU must finally act”
As long as the Schengen zone does not work and a large number of illegal migrants come to Austria via Bulgaria and Romania in particular, these two countries cannot be part of a Schengen extension. “The EU must finally take this issue seriously and take action,” said Stocker.
Edtstadler: Veto not against two states
Meanwhile, European Minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP) is trying to calm down. “Austria’s veto is not against two member states, but against a system that is currently not working,” she said in a statement on Friday.
Edtstadler rejects criticism from Romania and Bulgaria. “To address concerns about Austrian security policy by announcing economic and bilateral consequences is anti-European and should be strictly rejected,” the EU minister criticized.
“Austria is in a situation as a state on the external border”
The EU can only open its borders inwards if they are protected outwards. “That is not enough at the moment. Austria is in a situation like a state on the external border, but without the corresponding support. We therefore demand compliance with applicable EU law and the solidarity of all EU Member States,” says Edtstadler, who sees the European Commission’s action plan to combat illegal migration in the Western Balkans as an important first step.
Zadic: “We want a European solution”
The Green coalition partner, on the other hand, does not support the decision of Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP). “The vice-chancellor has already made it clear that we do not support Austria’s right of veto,” Justice Minister Alma Zadić said. And adds: “We are first and foremost about a European solution, the first step towards this European solution is of course the accession of Croatia, and Bulgaria and Romania are part of the European family and freedom of movement is a top priority within the European family.” Zadic said. She is convinced that “we will find a very fast European solution very soon”.
Van der Bellen regrets Austria’s veto
Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen also regrets the veto. Austria is in an extremely difficult situation due to the influx of refugees and migrants. “But unfortunately I have to admit that I do not see the connection, the connection between this problem and the Schengen accession of Romania and Bulgaria,” said Van der Bellen.
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.