Vortex on veto threat – Romania emphasizes: Our borders “no danger”

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After Austria’s veto threat, Romania and Bulgaria are still trying to get approval for Schengen membership. Romanian Interior Minister Lucian Bode traveled to Vienna on Wednesday to try to persuade Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) to change his mind at a meeting scheduled for a short time. Bulgarian Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev had already called Karner about the matter on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

At the meeting, Romania’s Interior Minister stated on Facebook after Wednesday evening’s meeting in Vienna that he presented Karner with up-to-date data on how Romania is protecting the EU’s external borders in the face of migratory flows through the Western Balkans route.

According to Bode, only about 2.7 percent of registered migrants on the Western Balkan route entered the European Union via Romania in the first eight months of this year, showing that Romania is not on the Western Balkan route. Romania’s entry into the Schengen area will be an asset to European security and will not pose a threat to member states, he stressed.

Karner criticizing the Schengen system
According to the Romanian news agency Agerpres, Karner repeatedly assured him during the meetings that the latest statements on the Schengen issue were not directed against Romania, but were intended to underline the urgent need for action in addressing the migration challenges facing Austria.

The Ministry of the Interior in Vienna said that during the conversation Karner explained his well-known views that the Schengen system is not working and that he is therefore against expansion. For their part, the interior ministers of Romania and Bulgaria stressed during the talks how important accession to Schengen is for their countries.

Vote early December
The Czech presidency has made the Schengen extension one of its top priorities and wants it to be voted on at the meeting of EU interior and justice ministers in early December. The extension requires unanimity between the Schengen member states. The Schengen area includes all EU countries except Bulgaria, Ireland, Croatia, Romania and Cyprus, as well as four non-EU countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The associate members participate in the deliberations, but have no voting rights. In Switzerland, the Federal Council (government) will make a decision by the end of the year after the resolutions are passed, according to the APA request from the Swiss Ministry of Justice.

Source: Krone

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