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Foreign Ministry firmly rejects as totally inadmissible Austria's negative vote on Romania's accession to Schengen

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MAE Ministerul Afacerilor Externe

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) firmly rejects the "totally inadmissible" position of Austria to vote against the Decision on Romania's accession to the Schengen area, at the Council of Justice and Internal Affairs (JAI) and considers that "Austria has singularized itself and self-isolated within the European Union".

In a statement sent on Thursday, the MAE considers that this result is "completely unfair and devoid of any objective motivation", especially in the context in which Romania acted with "openness and transparency" in the relationship with all European partners, including Austria, and the degree of preparation of our country in applying the provisions of the Schengen acquis has been repeatedly confirmed by EU and member state experts, most recently during the two evaluation missions that took place in October and November 2022.

"Unfortunately, Austria decided to ignore all these elements with the negative vote expressed today, in flagrant contradiction with the favorable position expressed by the other member states and despite the intense political-diplomatic efforts carried out on the Austrian side, at all levels, through which the Romanian presented convincing, realistic and relevant arguments to the Ministry of the Interior and the other authorities in Austria, both regarding the level of technical training and concrete elements regarding the protection of the external border of the EU", the quoted source says.

Also, the MAE specifies that "Austria's position is all the more inadmissible as this position of non-acceptance of Romania was expressed for the first time on November 18, 2022".

"Two days before, on November 16, 2022, Austria expressed full support for Romania's formal and official accession to the Bucharest meeting of the Salzburg Forum, through the Joint Declaration of the Ministers of the Interior adopted on that occasion, including by Austria, a text which mentions "the support, presented in this format, for a positive decision related to the accession of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia in December 2022", says the MAE.

At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appreciates that invoking by the Austrian side of the problem of the increase in the migration flow, as justification for the opposition to Romania's accession to Schengen, is "unacceptable, incorrect and unfair".

The MAE transmits that all the data officially provided by the Frontex Agency of the EU clearly indicate that Romania is not on the migratory route of the Western Balkans, does not face migratory pressure and is not a source of secondary migratory movements.

"On the contrary, Romania actively contributes to the management of the risk of illegal migration, and the exemplary way in which it managed the flow of refugees as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine represents additional proof in this regard, appreciated by all European and Euro-Atlantic partners", he also points out cited source.

"The MAE regrets the unwanted consequences that Austria's negative vote today has on European unity and cohesion. Especially in the current complicated geo-strategic context, marked by Russia's war against Ukraine and Russia's persistent attempts to fracture European unity, Austria's conduct represents an unwanted political signal regarding the EU's ability to act in the direction of strengthening the European construction, especially in the conditions in which Romania has proven its clear commitment to actively contribute to the consolidation of European action and integration based on the principles of solidarity and unity", the MAE also transmits. AGERPRES

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