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May 11, 2023

Austria’s Rejection of Romania’s Schengen Entry Is a Matter of

The Interior Minister of Romania, Lucian Bode, considers Austria’s continuous objection to Romania’s accession to the Schengen Zone a matter of domestic politics.

He stressed that the Balkan country had been prepared to become part of the Schengen Zone since 2011, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Bode also mentioned the visit of his Austrian counterpart, Gerhard Karner, who visited Bucharest earlier this month.

“I want to assure you that Austria’s Minister visit followed all diplomatic procedures appropriate in such a situation. I would like to remind you of where it started because the question was whether Romania is prepared to join the Schengen Area,” Bode said.

He stressed that the country is completely prepared for membership in the Schengen Zone, not just now but since 2011.

“However, from 2011 until 2021, all kinds of reasons and explanations were found for Romania not to be admitted to the Schengen Zone, reasons that were not related to the Schengen acquis,” Bode noted, according to Romania Insider report.

In addition, the Interior Minister of Romania considered Austria’s decision disappointing, unfair and unprincipled. Bedo said that according to Austrian Minister, the veto is not a vote against the country but against the system that is not functioning, while he talked about the Schengen system.

In spite of the fact that Romania has been trying to join the Schengen Zone since 2007, the process has not yet been finished after, in December last year, the process was blocked by Austria over illegal migrant concerns.

Spain’s Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, last month called on the authorities to unblock the accession of the Balkan country to the Schengen Zone.

In addition, Bode expressed his hope that after taking over the presidency of the European Union Council in July, Spain would put the subject of Schengen expansion back on the agenda.

“I believe we are strictly talking about a political decision, and the decision in December had 100 per cent internal political motivation,” Bode noted.

The delays in Romania’s membership in the Schengen Area led hundreds of Romanians to become part of the protest organized recently in Brussels by the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) party, the main purpose of which was to stop treating Romanians as second-class European citizens.

However, the Austrian Minister of the Interior, during his visit to Bucharest on April 26, said that the accession of Romania to the Schengen Zone cannot yet be seen.