The Austrian Minister of the Interior put the veto of Croatia’s request into perspective, which caused a great stir in Zagreb after a few days ago the European Commission gave its blessing to the accession of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia to the Schengen area.
The European Commission has stated that the three countries are ready to become full members of the area that ensures free EU movement without borders. It was highlighted that Croatia fully met the conditions for joining the Schengen area without internal border controls.
In contrast, conservative People’s Party Interior Minister Gerhard Karner stated that Austria would not contribute to the expansion of the Schengen zone.
Border protection failed
“The system is not working properly. The situation in Europe shows very clearly that the protection of the external borders has failed,” Gerhard Karner opined Der Standard according to an Austrian newspaper.
So far, 100,000 immigrants have been caught by landlocked countries. 75 thousand of them are not registered. Austria is doing this because the safety of the people living here is also at risk. If a system doesn’t work, you can’t make it bigger
– Gerhard Karner justified the rejection of the accession initiative.
Since border protection has failed, according to the Minister of the Interior, it is even more important for European countries to protect their own borders.
In addition to Austria, for example, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, which is outside the EU and part of the Schengen agreement, would carry out internal border controls.
As we reported, Slovenia has also hinted that the Schengen area is in danger, which is why it maintains border control vis-à-vis Croatia.
(Cover photo: Gerhard Karner on February 27, 2022. Photo: John Thys / AFP)