The Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union has prepared two draft decisions on the admission of new EU member states into Schengen, one for Croatia and the other for Bulgaria and Romania, Croatian news agency HINA reported. This paves the way for Croatia itself to enter the Schengen area. Meanwhile, the Austrian interior minister, Gerhard Karner, reiterated his doubts about the expansion of the Schengen area on Monday, but his Croatian counterpart, Davor Posinovic, said that Austria would continue to support Croatia in joining the free movement area. Croatian agency reported.
“The situation at the border, which is unbearable for the local population, shows that Schengen does not work in general and that the expansion of this space is useless,” said the Austrian minister during a visit to the Austrian-Hungarian border.
According to Minister Gerhard Garner, this year only Burgenland, an Austrian region bordering Hungary, registered 74,291 refugees who came from EU countries and were not registered (European regulation, ed.) contrary to the Dublin principle. According to Agerpres.
“Citizens want to return legally at the border. But when (refugees, ed.) ask for asylum, this return is impossible from a legal point of view,” the Austrian minister added.
Citing cases of migrants from countries such as India, Tunisia or Morocco, he praised the fact that citizens ineligible for asylum could be refused entry at the border. “This year alone, 11,400 Tunisians have sought asylum in Austria,” the Austrian minister said.
According to the silver edition of the Kurier newspaper, cited by DPA, the Austrian interior ministry announced Austria’s opposition to the removal of restrictions on the borders of EU member states Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia.
The Croatian Press Agency writes that the Austrian Interior Ministry said on Saturday that when Minister Garner expressed his doubts about the expansion of the Schengen area, he did not explicitly mention Croatia.
Also, HINA, with a statement objecting to the enlargement of the Schengen area, the Austrian minister wanted to warn about the difficult situation Austria is facing in recent months due to illegal migration.
According to the Austrian Interior Ministry, more than 90,000 migrants have arrived at the Austrian border since the beginning of the year. Of these, around 75,000 have not previously been registered in any other EU country.
Croatian Interior Minister Davor Posinovic said Austria continues to support Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area, according to HINA.
A vote on the accession of Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania to the Schengen area is scheduled for December 8 in the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JAI), DPA notes. A consensus decision is required on this matter.
According to the HINA agency, the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU has prepared two draft decisions, one for Croatia and the other for Bulgaria and Romania. This paves the way for Croatia’s automatic entry into the Schengen area, the Croatian press agency writes, given the opposition of the Netherlands and Sweden to the entry of Bulgaria and Romania.
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