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Austria officially said "No" to Bulgaria and Romania in Schengen

January 5, 2023

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer stated that Austria opposes the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen area. He made this statement during the EU-Western Balkans summit in Tirana, https://www.novinite.com/ reports.   "The Minister of the Interior made it clear. There is no approval from Austria for the enlargement with Bulgaria and Romania. More time is needed. We have 75,000 unregistered illegal immigrants in Austria. This means that they have crossed the external border of the European Union and ended up in a landlocked country like Austria. We have to answer these security questions first," Nehammer said.   The migration issues that Austria is facing are not imputable to Romania, Internal Affairs Minister Lucian Bode said in response to Austria saying it opposes Romania joining the passport-free Schengen area due to the many migrants that pass through the country, euractiv.com reads.   “Categorically, Romania should not be undeservedly and unjustifiably punished,” Bode wrote in a Facebook post. Migration flows do not pass Romania and Romania is not the generator of this flow, the minister added, in reply to reports that Austria is the sole obstacle on Romania’s path to Schengen.   “Without a doubt, Romania meets all the technical conditions for joining the Schengen area,” said Bode, adding that he discussed with his Austrian counterpart, Gerhard Karner, the matter of Schengen expansion and European migration data. Meanwhile, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer reiterated Vienna’s opposition to Romania and Bulgaria joining the Schengen Area.   “More time is needed… there are still many requests from Austria’s part,” the chancellor said on Tuesday, just before the EU-Western Balkan summit in Tirana. According to Austria, more than 75,000 immigrants reach its territory, including through Romania and Bulgaria.   Bucharest, however, denies that a large number of migrants have passed its borders.     The decision on the extension of the Schengen area will be taken at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of the EU on Thursday and Friday.

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