Austria pushes back against Schengen expansion

The Austrian Ministry of the Interior stated that Austria is against the elimination of controls at the borders with EU member states Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia, so long as Austria handles an increased number of refugees who have passed through other EU states along the so-called Balkan route to enter Austria.

In the aftermath of a vote taken in the European Parliament, European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson stated that the three countries should join the Schengen free movement zone – which would eliminate control at the border – without delay.

„It is an inopportune time to vote on enlargement now when the external border system is not working”, Interior Minister Gerhard Karner told the Kurier, reported.

Two days earlier, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nechammer met with Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić in Belgrade, where they signed an agreement on cooperation in addressing illegal migration.

„Austria is currently massively burdened by illegal migration. The solidarity contribution we make in Europe is disproportionately high. The asylum policy has failed. There is still no strong protection of the EU’s external borders, and the reality is that the problem is being ignored”, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nechammer warned when the three met in October in Budapest.

According to the three state leaders, the EU asylum system no longer works, and the EU Commission has not been active in matters of illegal migration for years. Asylum and migration are increasingly being mixed up, and thousands of people are coming to Europe from countries without a right to stay, which completely misses the goal of an orderly asylum and migration policy, reports Romania Insider.

„As long as the EU does not intervene with efficient measures, we have to help ourselves”, pointed out Karl Nehammer, reported.

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