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ForMinAurescu: The result of the elections in Austria shows the absence of Schengen theme impact
Bogdan Aurescu

Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Monday that the result of the recent elections in Austria shows the absence of the impact of using the Schengen accession theme in the campaign and emphasised that Romania will continue the steps for its accession to the free movement area, told Agerpres.

"We see the results of the elections in Austria. As a foreign minister, it is unusual for me to comment on the results of domestic elections in another country, but these results are very clear. I think it is easy to draw a conclusion about the impact or lack thereof of using the Schengen theme in Austria in this campaign or in this electoral context. From now on, I think the most important thing is to continue and develop the dialogue that we have already started, a constructive dialogue that we have started with Austria. I think that it is very important to continue all the steps we have already started. (...) We are open to dialogue at all levels, as you have already seen, and we will continue all these steps actively and coordinated," Aurescu said before attending a meeting of the National Political Bureau (BPN) of the National Liberal Party (PNL).

He said that the Austrian officials should make an assessment of the Schengen accession after the election results.

"We have made all the openness gestures towards constructive dialogue. We have also very clearly shown that Romania's position is one of support for measures to strengthen the management of the EU's external borders, to combat illegal migration, to make the EU's external borders safer, even if Romania does not accept the artificial connection between this subject, especially regarding illegal migration to Austria, and the enlargement of the Schengen area to include Romania and Bulgaria," Aurescu said.

He added that Romania works with Bulgaria on the Schengen file.

He said that he discussed with more than two thirds of his counterparts from the states that are at the same time members of the EU and members of the Schengen area.

"We are talking about 23 states that vote in the Council of Justice and Internal Affairs. Basically, we discussed and got messages of support and reconfirmations of support from about 15 ministers of foreign affairs and European affairs from these states, and these efforts will continue moving forward," said Aurescu.

He pointed out that the Swedish presidency of the EU Council is very much determined to support Romania in this matter.

"We have all the support of Sweden, which will soon start a consultation process. I am convinced that Bulgaria is also continuing the steps both in its relationship with Austria and in its relationship with the Netherlands, because the Netherlands opposes Bulgaria and has a series of conditions that must be fulfilled by Bulgaria, but we also have a constructive dialogue with Bulgaria," said Aurescu.

He added that discussions on the Schengen accession issue will soon start at the level of experts from the Romanian and Austrian ministries of home affairs. He also said that the statements of his Dutch counterpart reconfirms the Netherlands' support for Romania's accession to the Schengen area.

"My French counterpart, as well as the Dutch one, are very much determined to take active steps to support Romania's accession. (...) There can be no question at this moment that the Netherlands has a position other than that of supporting Romania's accession," said Aurescu.

He also said that he participates in the PNL's BPN meeting as a minister supported by the party, adding that he is open to any evaluation.


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