The President of Austria: We Must Let Bulgaria into Schengen!Politics | November 17, 2023, Friday // 13:19| views
The President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, defined the decision of his country's government to block the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen area as "wrong", reported "Focus".
He also sharply criticized the Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer.
"When the federal government of Austria said no to the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area, I made a public statement saying that I did not agree with the decision of my government. I saw no point in blocking Romania and Bulgaria from the Schengen area system. The question is much broader, how to control the flow of people seeking work or asylum in the 27 EU countries. I find the decision of the Austrian federal government wrong, but I hope that one day it will be reconsidered. I have had several contacts with the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and the Bulgarian President Rumen Radev. Even today, I believe that the decision was not correct", noted the Austrian head of state.
Austria justified its veto on the inclusion of Bulgaria and Romania in Schengen with the need for a comprehensive reform of the area. In late October, Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov visited Vienna in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade Nehammer to change his position.
"However, it is unthinkable for us at the moment to expand Schengen. I say that this has nothing to do with Bulgaria and Romania. This is a matter of security because we have very big challenges in the Schengen area. The interior ministers say - yes, this area is not functioning. 11 countries have internal border control, and although Austria is an internal country, it has control of the Austrian-German border," the Austrian Prime Minister noted at a joint press conference.
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