Gerhard Karner, Austrian Interior Minister, said on Wednesday in Bucharest that „I cannot give a date for Romania’s entry into Schengen. We have many common points between the two countries that we need to discuss, especially when it comes to the security of our countries”.
„The figures show that we had more than 110,000 applicants last year, the highest number in relation to the population, although we have no external borders. It shows that the system is not working. And Austria has border controls with Germany. We are not working against Romania, but together with Romania to fix the system”, Gerhard Karner added.
The Austrian Interior Minister made these statements upon his arrival at the Ministry of the Interior, where official talks with Minister Lucian Bode are to follow.
Gerhard Karner’s main statements:
We are very concerned about illegal migration, about catching people on the run.
Together with the Romanian police alone we have broken up a group of migrant smugglers led by a Romanian citizen.
Together, let’s put pressure on the European Commission to help us have more secure external borders.
Another important point is the pilot project launched by Romania with the European Commission.
Do you support Romania for Schengen? I repeat the message, why I could not vote for Romania at the JHA Council: because we have a system that does not work. There are controls at the German border with Austria, France does the same with Germany. This is proof that the system does not work, and it is in our interest to start working, with functioning external borders. We are close partners working together, we have achieved the first steps, but we still have a lot of work to do. There are many internal controls that should not exist. I can’t give you a date today, first of all I want to get results.
Will you vote yes? I can’t talk to you about a date, it’s up to the Council to set the agenda. We are working for a better system.
Germany does not invoke migration, although that is where most illegal migrants end up. Why do you invoke these reasons anyway? The figures show that we had more than 110,000 applicants last year, the highest number in relation to the population, although we have no external borders. It shows that the system is not working. And Austria has border controls with Germany. We are not working against Romania, but together with Romania to fix the system.
Can the problems be solved in the next two years? I will talk to Minister Bode today.
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