The Austrian Ministry of Interior Affairs has voiced an objection to the expansion of the Schengen free travel zone, according to Kurier newspaper.
BNN previously reported that the European Commission has suggested expanding the Schengen Area to Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
Currently the Schengen Area consists of 22 EU member states, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Romania and Bulgaria completed their evaluation process in 2011. However, the Council of Europe has been putting off making its decision for 11 years. In December 2021 the Council of Europe confirmed that Croatia, which joined the EU in 2013, has fulfilled all requirements to join the Schengen Area.
Austrian Minister of the Interior Gerhard Karner told Kurier that now is not the best time to vote on the expansion of the Schengen Area, as the external border system does not work.
AUSTRIA CURRENTLY IS UNDER INCREASED INFLUX OF REFUGEES. PEOPLE ARRIVE IN AUSTRIA USING THE SO-CALLED BALKAN ROUTE – PASSING THROUGH SEVERAL EU MEMBER STATES BEFORE ARRIVING IN AUSTRIA.
According to data from the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, more than 90 000 refugees have reached the country’s border since the start of the year. 75 000 of them are not registered in any EU member state.
It is expected that the governments’ of EU member states will vote on the inclusion of three new countries to the Schengen Area at a meeting on 8 December. Expansion of the Schengen Area requires unanimous support from all member states.
Source : BNN News