The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, ordered the summoning of the ambassador of the Republic of Austria to Bucharest, Thursday evening, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to inform her of Romania’s position regarding the accession to the Schengen area and the protest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs against the unjustified and hostile attitude of Austria, “which will produce inevitable consequences on bilateral relations”.
“The Austrian ambassador was told that Vienna’s negative vote is all the more surprising in the context of the existence of long diplomatic relations, with a tradition of over 100 years, between our countries, as well as substantial bilateral cooperation, especially in the economic field – Austria being one of Romania’s most important economic partners and the second foreign investor on the Romanian market. Equally, the Romanian-Austrian collaboration at the regional and European level, as well as the close coordination in files of common interest at the international level, should have weighed considerably in Austria’s voting decision”, the MFA announced in a statement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly rejects the “totally inadmissible” position of Austria to vote against the Decision on Romania’s accession to the Schengen area, at the Council of Justice and Internal Affairs (JAI) and considers that “Austria has singled itself out and isolated itself within the European Union”.
In a press release sent on Thursday, the MAE considers that this result is “completely unfair and devoid of any objective motivation”, especially given that Romania acted with “openness and transparency” in the relationship with all European partners, including Austria, and the degree of readiness of our country in applying the provisions of the Schengen acquis has been confirmed, repeatedly, by EU and member state experts, most recently on the occasion of the two evaluation missions that took place in October and November 2022.
“Unfortunately, Austria decided to ignore all these elements with the negative vote expressed today, in flagrant contradiction with the favorable position expressed by the other member states and despite the intense political-diplomatic efforts carried out by the Austrian side, at all levels, through which the Romanian presented convincing, realistic and pertinent arguments to the Ministry of the Interior and the other authorities in Austria, both regarding the level of technical training and concrete elements regarding the protection of the external border of the EU”, the quoted source says.
Also, the MAE specifies that “Austria’s position is all the more inadmissible as this position of non-acceptance of Romania was expressed for the first time on November 18, 2022”.
“Two days before, on November 16, 2022, Austria expressed full support for Romania’s formal and official accession to the Bucharest meeting of the Salzburg Forum, through the Joint Declaration of the Ministers of the Interior adopted on that occasion, including by Austria, a text which mentions “the support, presented in this format, for a positive decision related to the accession of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia in December 2022”, says the MFA.
At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appreciates that the invocation by the Austrian side of the problem of the increase in the migration flow, as a justification of the opposition to Romania’s accession to Schengen, is “unacceptable, incorrect and unfair”.
The MAE transmits that all the data officially provided by the EU Frontex Agency clearly indicate that Romania is not on the migration route of the Western Balkans, does not face migration pressure and is not a source of secondary migration movements.
“On the contrary, Romania actively contributes to the management of the risk of illegal migration, and the exemplary way in which it managed the flow of refugees as a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine represents additional proof in this regard, appreciated by all European and Euro-Atlantic partners”, he also states cited source.
“MAE regrets the unwanted consequences that Austria’s negative vote today has on European unity and cohesion. Especially in the current complicated geostrategic context, marked by Russia’s war against Ukraine and Russia’s persistent attempts to fracture European unity, Austria’s behavior represents an unwanted political signal regarding the EU’s ability to act in the direction of strengthening the European construction, especially in the conditions in that Romania has proven its clear commitment to actively contribute to the consolidation of European action and integration based on the principles of solidarity and unity”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also transmits.
Source: Cotidianul RO by www.cotidianul.ro.
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