Austria’s interior minister indicated that the country’s objection to Romania and Bulgaria joining the Schengen area could be softened when it comes to air traffic.
Multiple Austrian media outlets have reported that Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner is willing to remove barriers to intra-EU travel for Romanians and Bulgarians, while remaining against the two countries joining the Schengen area due to illegal migration concerns.
Under his offer, passengers from Romania and Bulgaria wouldn’t need to go through passport control when flying within the EU. However, there are also a set of conditions for this to be allowed, including Bulgaria needing to agree to more Frontex operations and increased border controls in Romania and Bulgaria.
Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu wrote on Facebook that the ice had been broken, saying the development means that “Romanians will no longer stand in endless queues when they fly within the European Union.”
“After years of waiting, we will realize this dream together! Romania deserves to be in Schengen,” Ciolacu said.
In September, Ciolacu threatened Austria with a court case, saying that he would challenge Vienna’s veto at the European Court of Justice “in order to claim compensation for the losses caused by non-accession.”
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