site.btaRomania to Take Austria to European Court of Justice, Seek Compensation on Veto to Romania's Accession in Schengen
Romania will take Austria to the European Court of Justice and seek compensation if the Austrian government continues to insist on a veto on Romania's accession to the Schengen area, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said on Friday in an interview with Der Standard. He noted that the damage caused to the country by the Austrian veto is estimated at least 2% of the country’s GDP or EUR 7 billion.
"It is not possible to demand security at an European level and at the same time to reject a fundamental right of Romania such as that of joining the Schengen area", Ciolacu argued. He described as "untrue" Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer's claim that there is a lot of active migration through Romania.
"Together with Serbia, we have introduced joint controls to move this issue away from the centre of the discussions. But in case Chancellor Nehammer again unjustifiably uses his veto power. I, as Prime Minister, will have to appeal Austria's decision to the European Court of Justice to demand compensation for the losses caused by the non-alignment", Ciolacu stressed.
He argued that Austria has set a precedent and this is the worst part of the issue.
"Usually member states follow the recommendations of the European Union institutions. Croatia applied for membership four or five years ago. Romania and Bulgaria could have vetoed the accession, but we did not," Ciolacu noted.
"Spain, as President of the Council of the EU, supports Romania's accession to the Schengen area and is making sure that this topic will be on the agenda again - in October or on December 4-5 in the framework of the Council of EU interior ministers. All other countries - except Austria - support Romania's accession."
He did not reject the media's claim that Austria pays Russia "blood money" ("Blutgeld"), as former European Commission Secretary General Martin Selmayr recently stated.
"Romania learned its lesson a long time ago and is therefore no longer dependent on Russian gas", Ciolacu noted.