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February 3, 2023

ForMin Aurescu, Austrain counterpart discuss in Brussels Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu discussed Monday, in Brussels, with the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg, about Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, following Austria’s negative vote at the JHA Council on December 8, informs the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) in a press release sent to AGERPRES on Tuesday.

The meeting of the two ministers took place on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, at the request of the Austrian side, according to the MAE.

“During the bilateral meeting, which was preceded by other contacts between the two ministers during the same day, as well as by a telephone discussion two days ago, Minister Aurescu reiterated, in detail, the position of the Romanian side regarding the Austria’s negative vote on Romania’s accession decision to the Schengen Area. He emphasized the need to find a constructive solution to unblock the situation considering that Romanian citizens are fully entitled to benefit from the rights of belonging to the Schengen area,” informs the cited source.

The Romanian Foreign Minister showed, once again, that the claims of the Austrian side regarding a possible involvement of Romania in the generation of the flow of illegal migration to Austria, on the Western Balkans route, on which Romania is not located, do not correspond in any way to the statistics and the evaluations of the European agencies – Frontex, Europol and the European Union Agency for Asylum, or with the reports of the recent evaluation visits made in the perspective of the Schengen membership decision, which formulated very positive assessments, as clear as possible, regarding the way in which Romania manages the situation of illegal migration.

At the same time, Aurescu showed that Romania has acted with openness and transparency in the relationship with all European partners, including Austria, and the degree our country’s preparation in applying the provisions of the Schengen acquis has been confirmed, repeatedly, by EU experts and member states, most recently on the occasion of the two evaluation missions that took place in October and November.

He reiterated his firm disagreement with the baseless accusations regarding the so-called pressure or ill-treatment of Austrian companies in Romania.

“The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs showed that Romania will use all available ways to unblock the situation created by the rejection of the Decision on the full application of the Schengen acquis in Romania and that it is necessary for Austria to adopt a constructive attitude directed towards cooperation and to reconsider the position for overcoming the impasse created by the vote expressed in the JHA Council on December 8, 2022. The Austrian side reiterated its expectations from the European Commission, agreed that the Work Plan already proposed by it on managing migration on the Western Balkans route is a first step in the direction of the answer to his concerns and maintained the importance of the global decrease in the number of migrants arriving in Austria. He showed that he is waiting for new proposals from the European Commission,” says the MAE release.

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