Bulgaria, Romania not ready for Schengen

Only a few irregular migrants would come via Croatia, but 40 percent via the route Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and then Hungary, Nehammer said in a press conference. are landlocked and not an external border country,” said the Federal Chancellor at a press conference.

Austria has taken in many people and granted them protection since 2015. Tens of thousands of people from Ukraine are currently being offered security and protection, which is “a matter of course”.

Nehammer on Schengen expansion

During his visit to Croatia, Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) expressed support for the Balkan country’s inclusion in the Schengen area. The Chancellor rejects the accession of Bulgaria and Romania.

Nehammer for “Rejection Policy”

In addition to the people from Ukraine, there are already 95,000 asylum applications, and many of these people do not have the right to seek asylum. According to Nehammer, the biggest problem is that the majority of those arriving are not registered. So far there have been more than 100,000 seizures in Austria, 75,000 of which were not registered. You have to change the existing system, said Nehammer. “The European asylum system has failed.” A “refoulement directive” is needed in order to be able to reject asylum seekers from safe countries of origin more quickly.

Graphic on the Schengen area

Graphics: APA/ORF.at; Source: EU Commission/schengenvisa.com

“We are now discussing the Schengen expansion, while at the same time we see, Austria in particular, that the external borders are inadequate or not protected and on the other hand internal border protection should be less. From our point of view, from an Austrian point of view, that is not possible,” said the Chancellor. “The Schengen expansion will not take place like this.”

Support for Croatia

Unlike the other two countries, Croatia is fulfilling its obligations. “We will support Croatia’s path to the Schengen area, and at the same time we will be very critical of the efforts of Bulgaria and Romania,” Nehammer clarified.

In the run-up to his Zagreb trip, the chancellor appeared to be withdrawing a veto threat previously voiced by Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP). “Since Croatia fulfills the border protection in an exemplary manner, I don’t see a problem there. The countries are voted on individually,” he said on Tuesday. Karner himself did not want to commit himself accordingly on Wednesday. “We are currently negotiating very intensively,” he said simply.

Schengen area

In 1985, the agreement to abolish border controls in Europe was signed in Schengen, Luxembourg. The principle is: Controls between member states will be lifted, and external border controls will be tightened. 26 countries have now joined Schengen.

Nehammer’s statements were greeted with satisfaction not only in Croatia but also in Slovenia, as the APA learned from informed circles in Ljubljana on Wednesday. The country lying between Croatia and Austria has been fighting for the lifting of Austrian border controls for years, precisely based on the argument of low migration pressure.

Plenkovic: Understanding Austria

Plenkovic said they are aware of Austria’s concerns and problems given the large number of asylum seekers. Together they also found that these people do not come to Austria via Croatia. And together they will also work to ensure that controls at the EU’s external borders are strengthened, said Plenkovic.

Nehammer also met in Zagreb for talks with President Zoran Milanovic and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic. On Thursday he will talk to Plenkovic and the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder about the gas supply at the LNG terminal on the island of Krk.

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