Schengen: Austria to veto Bulgaria, Romania joining the border-free area, Germany supports their bids
Austria will veto Romania and Bulgaria joining the Schengen area, Austrian interior minister Gerhard Karner said on Thursday, December 8, before the meeting of EU colleagues in Brussels, Thelocal.at reported.
On the other hand, the German interior minister said Germany supports bids by Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania to join the border-free area.
"I cannot understand Austria's position in this respect," Nancy Faeser told reporters on December 8, according to Reuters. "We will support Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria, all three."
Austria continued to voice concerns about Romania joining the Schengen area in the past days, reportedly citing illegal migration as the main reason. The topic is to be decided at the December 8 EU Justice and Home Affairs Council.
Schengen is the largest free-travel area in the world, with currently 22 EU countries participating, plus four associated non-EU countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein).