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Romania's Schengen bid on agenda of Senate acting President's meeting with Austria National Council President

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Alina Gorghiu

Acting Senate President Alina Gorghiu, currently on a working visit to Austria, met with President of the Federal Council of the Republic of Austria Korinna Schumann, an occasion for the two senior officials to express interest in strengthening the relations between the two countries, advancing the bilateral agenda and intensifying cooperation at regional and European level.

Alina Gorghiu emphasized that joining Schengen represents a major priority for Romania, and that intense efforts have been made for the completion of this process which has the support of Romania's entire political class, the Senate said in a release on Monday.

The Senate head stressed that Romania's full inclusion in the Schengen Area will "definitely" bring added value to the EU's external borders and will strengthen the global role of the community bloc.

Gorghiu argued that Schengen's enlargement will benefit all EU citizens, the economies of the member states and Austrian companies in Romania, and pointed out that the current state of affairs means long waiting times for carriers and more complicated procedures.

She also referred to figures of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, which "very clearly confirm that Romania was not and is not a source of migration to Austria and is neither a transit route for migration to this country".

The head of the Senate evoked the firm support of the European institutions and the unequivocal conclusions of European experts, whose fact-finding visits resulted in extremely positive reports for Romania, entitling our country to unanimous support for the adoption of the Schengen accession decision, the release states.

Gorghiu stated that the protection of Romanian workers in Austria is a constant priority for the Bucharest authorities, and stressed the importance of stepping up Romania - Austria dialogue on social affairs.

The Senate's acting President also had a meeting with the Chair of the Austrian Parliament's Friendship Group with Romania and Bulgaria, Harald Troch, which was also attended by Green Party deputy Elisabeth Gotze.

The two Austrian officials expressed readiness to clarify their parties' internal positions regarding Romania's Schengen bid, noting that this move would benefit everyone and that it is important that it should happen according to the calendar, the cited source said. AGERPRES

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