We will lift the Schengen veto only when border control in Bulgaria is improved

The veto can be lifted only when the border control in Bulgaria and Romania is improved, Karl Nehamer is categorical

We will help Bulgaria and Romania, we don’t just say “no”

In other EU countries, there is not enough pressure against unregistered border crossings by migrants. With this argument, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer defended the country’s veto against the admission of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen in an interview on Austrian television.

Nehammer repeated much of his argument and that of Interior Minister Gerhard Karner. Unregistered migrants on the territory of Austria have been let through at the EU’s external border. And a large part of them came through Romania and Bulgaria. The Austrian authorities know this from the interrogations of the unregistered persons and from the data from their mobile phones. Romania and Bulgaria have other figures. These countries cannot know the real numbers at all since they do not register them, said Nehamer, quoted by BTA.

For Schengen to function, strong external borders are needed, allowing for the gradual removal of internal ones. This has not worked for a long time, Germany started to control the borders with Austria, we started to control the borders with Hungary and Slovenia, Germany controls the borders with the Czech Republic, the Czech Republic with Slovakia, which means that we have a problem here and until we solve it, we cannot we are talking about expansion, the chancellor said.

He further stated: “There is a problem between Bulgaria and Turkey, the Bulgarians themselves admit that this is a big issue. On the border between Bulgaria and Turkey, policemen are killed, these are very serious situations, just as there are dramatic scenes on the border between Hungary and Serbia.” Nehamer informed that for better security, Austria has launched a joint police operation with Hungary, for which preparatory actions are underway of months, thus helping Hungary. “This is exactly how we want to help Bulgaria and Romania as well. It is very important for me to say that this is not a one-way street, that there is no simple “no”, the Bulgarians have already asked for help, we will support them and we will do the same with Romania”, explained the chancellor.

When asked why Austria did not choose the path practiced in the EU, namely to look for like-minded people among other countries and thus achieve changes, Nehamer replied that no other country experiences such a migrant pressure in proportion to the population that Austria experiences. The Netherlands tried for a long time to find support in the European Council, but failed. In the other EU countries there is a different awareness of the problems than in Austria. Since the Commission does not act, it is necessary to act “strongly” and nationally, the chancellor believes.

According to him, it is possible to lift the veto only when the border control in Bulgaria and Romania is improved.


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