Austria's interior minister hasn't changed his mind on Schengen enlargement

austria's interior minister hasn't changed his mind on schengen enlargement

Austria’s interior minister hasn’t changed his mind on Schengen enlargement

Interior minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) insists on Austria’s previous veto position regarding Romania’s and Bulgaria’s full accession to Schengen. He said he would rather not “philosophize about next steps,” B1tv.ro reported.

At the same time, the minister referred to the agreement that had already been reached regarding the lifting of controls at sea and in the air, also known as “Air and Sea Schengen,” emphasizing that it provides for “clear conditions.”

Air Schengen should become operational at the end of March. This means that the land border must be secured, and additional Frontex police officers and resources are available at the external border, minister Karmer explained. In addition, asylum seekers from Austria previously registered in Romania and Bulgaria are to be returned to the relevant countries.

Kurier, quoting Karner, doesn’t mention the presence of Austrian customs officers at Romanian and Bulgarian airports, a condition Vienna insisted on but is not likely to eventually be implemented.

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(Photo source: Inquam Photos/George Calin)

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