site.btaRomanian Interior Minister Sends Open Letter to Austrian Counterpart over Schengen
Romanian Interior Minister Lucian Bode has sent an open letter to his Austrian counterpart Gerhard Karner to express his "deep indignation" with Thursday's vote in the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council which rejected with 25 votes in favour and 2 against the proposal to allow Romania, and also Bulgaria, in the border-free Schengen area, Romania's Agerpres news agency said on Monday.
In the letter Bode voices his deep indignation with the outcome of the vote, given that at a meeting in Vienna on November 23 Karner had assured the Romanian minister of being a friend of Romania and that Austria's stance is not against Romania but against a non-working system that should not be enlarged.
The letter, posted on Bode's Facebook account, describes the decision as "unfair, unjust and groundless". Bode argued that the decision will cause huge damage at EU level and a dangerous precedent in the current geopolitical context. Bode writes that the vote not only trampled on the merits of Romania and its citizens but also on the values and principles at the European level.
"All EU member states saw how Austria passed a random decision while the arguments presented at the end of the process have no relation to reality," the letter says. Bode further recalls that at a meeting with Karner in February Austria offered assurance in support of Romania.
"You treated the Romanians and Romania in an unfair, discriminatory and illogical way. I am sorry to tell you, but this way of behaving and acting is not appropriate for any politician in the European Union," Bode writes.
The letter says that Romania remains firmly and deeply committed to joining the Schengen Area and will continue to work to this end with the same determination and unwavering trust in the European values.