Hungary appeals to Austria to allow Bulgaria and Romania into Schengen Area
Hungarian Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, made an appeal on Friday to Austria, urging them to reconsider their opposition to Bulgaria and Romania joining the Schengen Area.
Following a visit to the western Romanian city of Timisoara, Szijjarto emphasized during a news conference alongside Romanian Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu, that it was "of strategic interest" for Hungary to collaborate as closely as possible with Romania.
Szijjarto expressed his disappointment, deeming it "shameful," that the border control-free Schengen Area had not been extended to include Romania and Bulgaria.
He urged the "Austrian friends" to reconsider their veto and vote in favor of Romania's and Bulgaria's Schengen Area accession this autumn, highlighting that such an accession would align with Hungary's interests.
Earlier in the day, Szijjarto and Grindeanu signed an agreement to open two additional border crossing points between Romania and Hungary, bringing the total number to 14.
Notably, Austria, along with the Netherlands, had vetoed the expansion of the Schengen Area to include Bulgaria and Romania in December of the previous year. Vienna had justified its rejection by expressing concerns about potential increases in illegal migration.