Austria urged to allow Romania Schengen Zone access

30 May 2023

President of the European Union Parliament, Roberta Metsola, has stated she is determined to convince Austria of further Schengen Zone expansion.

Last December, authorities in Austria and the Netherlands blocked Romania’s access to the Schengen Zone due to illegal border crossing concerns, Schengen Visa Info reports.

“Eleven years ago, the EU Commission and the EU Parliament welcomed the membership of Romania and Bulgaria in the Schengen area. I understand that Austria has concerns, but I want to convince them that we can find a way out,” the European Union Parliament president stated. 

In addition, in regard to migration, Metsola said she is hopeful a migration pact introduced by the European Union Commission and an agreement on asylum would be reached shortly.

“What I don’t want is that we fail and the countries then have no choice but to reintroduce internal border controls,” she went on to add.

Nevertheless, the president said she had no comment in relation to Austria’s border controls with Slovenia.

Austrian authorities recently announced a further extension to controls at the shared border with Slovenia for another six months as of 11th May, a decision not favoured by Ljubljana and EU authorities.

Following Romania’s membership to the Schengen Zone being blocked last December by Austria and the Netherlands, other nations have shown their support for Romania to become part of the Schengen Zone as soon as possible.

Indeed, in April, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said during talks with the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca that he wants Romania to be part of the Schengen Area. 

Spanish authorities have also urged Austria to allow Romania access to the Schengen Area, and earlier in May, the European Commission called on the Council to allow Romania and Bulgaria to become full Schengen Zone members this year.