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Romania Set to Take Legal Action Against Austria Over Border-Free Zone Veto

The Prime Minister of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu, has said that he will take Vienna to court for vetoing the accession of Romania to the European Union borderless area of Schengen.

He said that Bucharest could claim back its losses caused by non-accession to the free-travel zone, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

If Chancellor [Karl] Nehammer unjustifiably uses his right of veto again, as prime minister, I will have to challenge Austria’s decision at the European Court of Justice in order to claim compensation for the losses caused by non-accession.Ciolacu

Romania’s Prime Minister said that his country lost as much as two per cent of its economic output as a result of delays to the finalisation of this process. He emphasised that he would attempt to recover a sufficient amount of damages.

According to a report from the Financial Times, the Balkan country’s gross domestic product was €286 billion last year.

However, the Romanian threat was dismissed by a spokesperson for Austria’s Foreign Ministry.

Romania’s hopes for becoming the newest member of the borderless area of Schengen were ceased in December last year by Austria and the Netherlands, who didn’t support Bucharest to achieve this goal, citing illegal migration problems.

In spite of the fact that Romanian nationals are waiting for over ten years to enjoy some of the benefits of the passport-free zone, they may have to wait a little longer after Austria recently stressed that nothing has changed in Austria’s clear position. 

Austria’s Ministry of the Interior told SchengenVisaInfo.com that as long as the Schengen system does not work, there is no point in expanding it, stressing that Vienna is unable to support the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Zone.

Clearly, there is a security issue, and we need a shift in the EU mindset on illegal migration. We have therefore sent a wake-up call to Brussels by not agreeing to enlarge this dysfunctional system.Austria’s Foreign Ministry

The European Commission estimated that both Romania and Bulgaria had met all the needed conditions for their accession to the Schengen Area. Besides, in July this year, the cabinet of Bulgaria announced that it adopted a governance program, thus prioritising the accession of Romania to the Schengen Zone by the end of this year and the accession to the EuroZone by January 1, 2025.

Recently, the President of the European Union Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stressed that both countries should Bulgaria and Romania should be admitted into the borderless area of Schengen without further delay.

Source : Schengenvisq