Austrian Minister Cautions Against Full Schengen Entry for Bulgaria and Romania

Business | January 13, 2024, Saturday // 13:39
Bulgaria: Austrian Minister Cautions Against Full Schengen Entry for Bulgaria and Romania Gerhard Karner

In a recent interview with Die Presse, Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner shared insights into the complexities surrounding the Schengen entry of Bulgaria and Romania. Addressing concerns about the overall disarray in the migration system, Karner stressed the need for a functioning system at the European level. While advocating for a comprehensive approach, he emphasized the pivotal role of protecting external borders, a key element outlined in the new EU pact on asylum and migration.

Karner expressed caution against the full acceptance of Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen area in the current phase, citing the necessity for a step-by-step progression. When questioned about the criteria these countries must fulfill for Schengen entry only by air and water, Karner refrained from specifying conditions but expressed the view that full acceptance in today's phase would be a mistake. What does Schengen by air and sea mean exactly?

Highlighting Austria's role, Karner underlined the country's significant contribution to advancing discussions on joint financing for protecting external borders and forming an asylum pact and migration agreement at the EU level. He acknowledged the progress made with air and sea Schengen but urged a cautious approach, emphasizing the necessity of continued progress in manageable steps.

The minister concluded by stating that border control remains a necessary aspect, pointing out the positive steps taken with air and sea Schengen but suggesting a gradual approach for future expansions. While Karner recognized Austria's role in facilitating unprecedented decisions for EU member states to collaborate on financing and addressing migration challenges, he reiterated the importance of the European Commission ensuring the effective functioning of the entire system.

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Tags: Austria, Schengen, Migration, European Union, Karner

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