Bulgaria does not expect today to receive a response from Austria regarding the lifting of the veto against the country’s entry into Schengen. This was stated by Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov before his meetings today in the Austrian Parliament, and later with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
“What we aim for with today’s visit is to explain to the Austrian society, and from there to the Austrian politicians, that it is better for them that Bulgaria is part of the Schengen area”, Denkov said.
“Why is it better – because that way they can ensure better protected external borders, less migration into Europe and into Austria, cheaper food, lower inflation, more stable energy security, so these are arguments that are short, clear, and we will explain them until they are heard,” said the prime minister.
Austria explains the imposed veto with the migrant influx, according to Vienna, and the route through Bulgaria. However, according to Denkov, only 2% of migrants arriving in Austria passed through Bulgarian territory.
The program of the Prime Minister’s visit to Vienna also includes a meeting with the President of the Association of Austrian Industrialists, Georg Knill, in an attempt to convince Austrian businesses to support Bulgaria’s Schengen membership.
“You know, Austrian businesses are extremely well represented in Bulgaria, even according to unofficial data they are number 1. These companies also suffer because they have difficulties in moving. So we hope that they will also listen to our arguments and manage even more convincingly to explain them to Austrian citizens”.
Nikolai Denkov expects that at the EU summit in December, all points of view related to Schengen expansion will be taken into account, and added that the EC highly regards Bulgaria’s progress in the implementation of anti-corruption policies, which in turn is a condition for the Netherlands to give up its veto on the country’s accession to the Schengen area.