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February 3, 2023

IntMin Bode voices deep indignation at vote in JHA Council in open letter to Austrian counterpart

Minister of Internal Affairs Lucian Bode sent an open letter to Gerhard Karner, his Austrian counterpart, expressing his “deep indignation” at the vote of the JHA Council against Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, after the latter had previously given assurances, in Vienna, that he is “a friend of Romania”, “an unbecoming political game” according to the Romanian minister.

“I am writing to you (…) to express my deep indignation at your vote in the JAI Council, against Romania’s accession to the Schengen area, after you assured me on November 23 in Vienna, in the presence of our colleagues, that you are a friend of Romania’s, and your position is not against Romania, but against a dysfunctional system that should not be extended to any state,” Lucian Bode says in the letter posted on his Facebook page on Monday.

He adds that it is an “unfair, unjust, without any real justification” decision, which creates huge damages at the EU level and a dangerous precedent in the current geopolitical context.

Lucian Bode specifies that not only the merit of Romania and the Romanian citizens was trampled with this vote, but also the values and principles that guide us at the European level and that all the member states could see how Austria adopted “an arbitrary decision, which flagrantly violates Romania’s right to be a member state in full of the Schengen area”, and the arguments presented at the end of this process have no connection with reality.

“In our meeting in January, you assured me of Austria’s support for joining the Schengen area, and during the Ministerial Conference of the Salzburg Forum in Bucharest, Austria agreed to a joint statement in which all members welcomed the support for Romania’s accession to the Schengen area,” Bode also writes.

“You have treated Romanians and Romania in an unfair, discriminatory and illogical manner. I am sorry to tell you, but this way of conduct and action is not appropriate for any politician of the European Union,” he emphasizes.

Lucian Bode specifies that Romania remains firmly and deeply attached to the goal of joining the Schengen area, and not only the ministry he leads, but also the other structures involved in the accession process will continue to work with the same determination and the same unwavering trust in European values.

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