Romania wants to lock down Schengen despite Austrian thorn in side

The European People’s Party has unanimously adopted a manifesto demanding Romania’s accession to the Schengen area as soon as possible. 

This occurred during its congress in Bucharest on Wednesday. 

„Surprise at the Congress of the European People’s Party in Bucharest. The Austrian delegation no longer voted against the electoral manifesto of the European People’s Party, which calls for Romania’s accession to the Schengen area as soon as possible. The manifesto was adopted unanimously. This vote shows that the blockage was overcome and that, even if there were difficulties, we will overcome them and we will obtain the full accession of Romania to the Schengen area”, said Romanian MEP Siegfried Muresan, vice-president of the EPP, in a press release on Wednesday evening.

The manifesto adopted by the EPP states that „we need full accession to Schengen for Bulgaria and Romania, by lifting as soon as possible not only the air and maritime checks, but also the checks at the land borders”.

“We need to fix the Schengen area, which is currently dysfunctional, in particular by further strengthening the protection of the EU’s external borders and by preventing illegal migration to Europe, in order to have a safe and complete Schengen area without internal border checks”, the internal document of the pan-European formation also advocates.

Earlier, during the joint press conference held at the opening of the EPP Congress, Manfred Weber admitted that there is an „Austrian challenge” and stated that „in the EPP we have different opinions on some of the issues and it is absolutely democratic to express them”.

„One thing I want to convey clearly: the EPP supports the full expansion of the Schengen area, so that Romania and Bulgaria should immediately join the Schengen area, they meet all the criteria”, Manfred Weber emphasized during the press conference held at the beginning of the EP Congress, together with Romania’s President of the National Liberal Party, Nicolae Ciuca.

„The first step is now the accession with maritime and air borders, and we want to see Romania and Bulgaria accede to the Schengen area as soon as possible. The EPP as a party is clear on this”, Weber emphasized.

He took the opportunity to ask the socialists in Austria to consider a change of opinion „because they are also against granting Romania and Bulgaria full access to Schengen”. „So we have an Austrian challenge in front of us, we have to convince all the parties”, Weber also said.

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