Schengen enlargement: Austria blocks the way for Romania and Bulgaria, Croatia joins the free movement zone

Schengen enlargement: Austria blocks the way for Romania and Bulgaria, Croatia joins the free movement zone

The functioning of the sector has evolved: an air passenger control system, the European border and coast guard agency Frontex, new regulations… and the system is set to evolve. an idea particularly taken up by French President Emmanuel Macron whorefoundation,

It was necessary for the European Commission to strengthen the external borders of the region. with Deployment of additional troops to the Frontex Corps, which should reach 10,000 coast guards and border guards by 2027. With full interoperability of information systems for registration entries and exits from Schengen by 2023, with greater police co-operation. With, and this is the most complicated for the time being, the reform of the process of registering the arrival of migrants.

bone of contention of migration

Italy in particular is revolting. She does not want to bear the burden of traveling to Europe alone. She is not alone. AleAustria and Belgium are also facing an influx of asylum seekers, many of whom are already registered or undergoing asylum procedures in another member state.

The Belgian State Secretary for Asylum and Migration, Nicole de Moor, held a meeting on Wednesday with several of her European counterparts, demanding “the right app“Regarding the Dublin Regulation which provides that a migrant’s country of arrival in the Union is in charge of his asylum application.

According to Frontex, some 139,500 irregular entries into the Union have been detected since January on the Western Balkan route. However, this figure is a far cry from the 764,000 entries recorded in 2015 at the time of the refugee crisis.

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The situation has notably prompted Austria and the Czech Republic to re-impose border controls and prompted the European Commission to present an action plan to try to reduce flows through this route, as it Did for the central Mediterranean road.

The Commission proposes, inter alia, to deploy the European agency Frontex not only at the Union’s borders with the Western Balkans but also between these countries. It also calls on these states (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia), whose citizens do not require a visa to travel to the Union, to align themselves with the visa policy of the ‘Union’. Do it.

Serbia, accused of contributing to a surge in migrant arrivals in the union, has begun to do so by stopping visa exemptions to Tunisians and Burundians.

Romania and Bulgaria failed

Romania and Bulgaria have been waiting in the antechamber of Schengen for more than ten years. The European Commission has long been calling for this extension and renewed its call in November.

Bucharest and Sofia joined the EU before Zagreb in 2007, and have met technical criteria since 2011, but have been told to make progress in justice and the fight against corruption.

Placed under the supervision of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, the two Danube countries set out for Bulgaria in 2019 and Romania on 22 November.

Refractory countries such as Sweden have reviewed their position in recent months following efforts by Romania, particularly in light of the management of Ukrainian refugees and the country’s strategic importance to NATO. Recently the Netherlands did the same and gave the green light to Romania but is worried about Bulgaria.

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Austrian veto

But Austria has toughened its rhetoric, condemning the influx of asylum seekers, which would worsen in the event of an expansion of the Schengen area.

,Today I will vote against the extension of Schengen to Romania and Bulgaria“, announced Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner upon arrival in Brussels. Vienna’s refusal mainly reflects domestic political issues, in the context of the rise of the far-right in the elections.

Austria is facing a sharp rise in asylum applications and there are fears that the removal of border controls with the two countries will lead to a further increase in migrant arrivals. ,This year we have registered over 100,000 illegal border crossings in Austria“, says the Austrian minister.

,they don’t go from romaniae”, but mainly by Serbia, reacted Romanian Minister of the Interior Lucian Bode, referring to the more than 128,000 migrants counted from January to October by the European agency Frontex.western balkan route,

The route also passes through Hungary, which has built a wall along its southern border with Serbia. but The barbed wire wanted by Viktor Orban turns out to be a trap, Secret crossings continue with renewed vigour: either by physically breaking through the fence installed at great cost after the 2015 migration crisis, or with the help of smugglers willing to do anything to evade the police and Hungarian “border hunters” .

These routes into vans or vans further towards Slovakia and Austria, where this year there were fatalities during chases with Austrian border guards.

Besides Austria, another member state, the Netherlands, has come out against Bulgaria’s entry into Schengen. Dutch Migration Minister Erik van der Berg told Thursday that his country “corruption and human rights“In this country and asked for a new report from the commission on these points.”for us it is yes for croatia and yes for romania“, he had said.

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The European Commission has promised to ensure that Bulgaria and Romania’s requests are reconsidered by interior ministers next year.

A German mayor of a Romanian town calls for the opening of Schengen

The dismissal addressed to Bulgaria and Romania is likely to strengthen Euroscepticism in these two countries, especially in Bulgaria, where four elections have already been held in the past two years.

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