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January 26, 2023

Romania Returns Its Ambassador to Vienna After Tension Over Schengen

The Romanian authorities have announced that the country has decided to return its ambassador to Austria.

The ambassador of Romania to Austria, Emil Hurezeanu, was called to the country after Austria blocked the accession of Romania into the Schengen Area in December. However, in order to show its openness to the dialogue with Austria, the Romanian authorities decided to return the ambassador to his position, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Announcing the decision that the government has taken, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Bogdan Aurescu, said that Romania is willing to promote dialogue as well as find constructive solutions together with Austria.

“We are ready to resume our dialogue with Austria, as our ambassador is returning to Vienna. This gesture is a sign of Romania’s willingness to use all available channels to find a solution for Romania’s accession, even if we continue to strongly disagree with Austria’s conduct to vote against in December,” Minister Aurescu wrote on its official Twitter account.

It is believed that Romania decided to return its ambassador to Austria after the presidents of the two countries had a call regarding the matter on January 19.

Not long after the call, the President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, said that he is pleased that Romania will return its ambassador to Austria and, at the same time, stressed that they will continue to work with Romania and hopefully welcome it as a Schengen member state.

“I spoke today to Romania President Klaus Iohannis about hopefully welcoming Romania as a full Schengen member in the near future – will continue to work towards this. I am also very pleased that Pres. Iohannis announced that the Romanian Ambassador will return to Austria,” President Alexander Van der Bellen stated.

Austria voted against Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area last year. Such a move was not welcomed by the Romanian authorities. Nonetheless, after taking into consideration the latest developments, Minister Aurescu said that Romania should be permitted to join the Schengen as according to him Romania will contribute to the strengthening of the EU’s security and border protection.

Romania’s expectations are legitimate, based on a very positive track record, and widely endorsed at the EU level. Romania is part of the solution for consolidating the EU security and border protection,” Minister Aurescu stressed.

Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that Romanians started cancelling their bookings in Austria following the latter’s Schengen veto.

Data shows that around 0.7 per cent of overnight stays in Austria are spent by tourists from Austria. However, the number of bookings started to drop as soon as Austria voted against permitting Romania to join the Schengen.