Minister of the Interior Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) has been showing steadfastness for months regarding the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen area. But now he’s making people sit up and pay attention with an offer.
Minister of the Interior on a secret mission. As the “Krone” discovered, Gerhard Karner sent Bulgaria and Romania an offer regarding Schengen: no further lifting of controls at the borders of both countries – illegal migration was too strong. So no accession to Schengen either. Austria remains difficult here. The system needs to be repaired.
Bulgaria and Romania must accept asylum seekers
Karner’s package: Expanding Frontex operations in Bulgaria – tripling EU funding for border protection (fences) at the external borders of Bulgaria and Romania; increased border controls; Acceptance of asylum seekers from Austria, mainly Afghans and Syrians, by Bulgaria and Romania.
In return, Karner offers “Air-Schengen”. Airline passengers from Romania and Bulgaria no longer have to go through passport control when flying within the EU. The negotiations will take place on Tuesday in Slovenia.
Expert: Plan complies with EU guidelines
From a purely legal point of view, the plan is not a problem, says European lawyer Walter Obwexer of the University of Innsbruck. The increase for Frontex has already been decided, the acceptance of asylum seekers is compatible with Union law – and: “The Schengen Borders Code allows for the gradual abolition of identity checks at internal borders. So at airports, for example.”
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.