Lukas Mandl, an Austrian MEP from the EPP group, said in a debate in the European Parliament on Tuesday that the postponement of Romania’s accession to Schengen was not a play.
Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl, a member of the EPP group, supported Vienna’s position at a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, which blocked Romania and Bulgaria from entering the Schengen area last week. First, the migration problem facing the country must be solved at the EU level.
“We are looking forward to the moment when Romania and Bulgaria join Schengen. We need to make decisions as confidently and responsibly as we can, but for now we cannot. (…) The drama is not just a few months’ delay in Schengen’s much-anticipated accession, but the drama is the growing migration crisis. It is not so much for the Commission, because it presented a good idea two years ago, but the process has not continued in the Council and here in our European Parliament. Here’s why we must advance the agenda to secure our borders. We must fight organized crime in the field of human trafficking. Every effort should be made to ensure uniformity among Member States in asylum procedures, return procedures and all other matters. Romania and Bulgaria are not guilty. There is a lot to be done through this institution, the European Parliament, but also the Council, and then we look forward to both countries joining Schengen.”Mandl said, quoted by Agerpres.
When confronted with data on migration, he avoided answering
German MEP Jan-Christoph Oetjen, a member of the Renew Europe group, asked him if he knew it would be easier to manage migration if Romania and Bulgaria were members of the Schengen area.
“It is not yet the responsibility to decide now, I hope it will soon be possible as the Council and Parliament continue to solve this migration crisis,” replied Lucas Mandl.
Another question was asked by Romanian MEP Vlad Botoş (Renewal Europe), who said that many migrants arriving in Austria use the Balkan route, which also passes through Croatia, which the Austrian government has approved for entry into Schengen.
The Austrian MEP replied that an important part of the migrants “go to the countries we are talking about (Bulgaria and Romania, ed.) and another important part goes through the Western Balkans. This is not even discussed at the European level. The European Commission, which negotiated with the Western Balkan countries, has no discussion with the Western Balkan countries, To bring the situation under control, to bring this immigration under control, the Austrian government must take responsibility for this. I hope we will finish this process soon” – said Lucas Mandel.
EP Rapporteur on Croatia’s accession: JHA’s decision is unfair, illegal and unconstitutional
On the other hand, the EP rapporteur for Croatia’s accession to Schengen, Paulo Rangel (PPE), said that the JAI Council’s decision to reject the inclusion of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen area was unjustified and unacceptable.
“I have to say and tell my colleagues that I regret the position of the Austrian government. I have to say the same about the position of Mark Rudd’s liberal government, which had the same approach. This is not ideology. Independent assessments commissioned by member states say in black and white that Romania and Bulgaria are perfectly ready to enter the Schengen area. So , this decision of the Council is unfair, illegal and unconstitutional. We cannot tolerate it. . I express my solidarity with the Romanian and Bulgarian people”, declared Rangel in the EP plenary, according to Agerpress.
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