For Schengen only Croatia is admitted, excluding Romania and Bulgaria

The conclusion of the Schengen area accession process, which began in 2016, ends a process that was marked by crises caused by the crossing of the Balkan route by over a million migrants. The particularly violent behavior of the Croatians has provoked criticism from the European Commission, as well as from numerous human rights associations. Zagreb has to control the second largest land border of the Union with limited means, but this does not justify an approach based on repressive methods, which do not justify, according to eight very relevant non-governmental organizations, admission to the Schengen area, furthermore condemned the lack of sensitivity of Brussels for the protection and respect of civil rights. Admission to the Schengen area should bring substantial benefits in the field of tourism and transport to the Croatian country and it would be desirable for the European Commission to expressly request, in exchange for these facilitations, a greater commitment in the field of protection of migrants’ rights and also a greater willingness to welcome quotas of migrants, issues towards which Zagreb has not shown itself to be too sensitive up to now. If Croatia has obtained the longed-for admission to Schengen, Romania and Bulgaria are still blocked by vetoes determined by reasons functional to other states and which are influenced by exclusive partisan interests, masked by reasons of superior interests. The President of the European Parliament and the Commissioner for Internal Affairs expressed their disappointment regarding the exclusion of Bucharest from the Schengen area, which the Romanian country has been requesting for eleven years. The main culprits for the refusal are in Vienna and The Hague, even if Holland seemed more inclined to give a favorable opinion, then denied at the end. Romania seemed to meet the criteria for admission to Schengen, as it had actually been judged by the Commission and also by the members of the European Parliament. In reality, the real reasons for the Austrian refusal would be economic, the Vienna government has already denounced, in the past, pressures by the Romanian authorities on Austrian companies and also the question of the state oil company of Bucharest, which belongs to the Austrian company, is the cause of tension between the two countries. In reality, the reasons that were presented to justify the refusal by Vienna related to the 75,000 illegal migrants present in Austria, in a quantity declared unmanageable; however the migratory traffic towards the Austrian country comes mostly from Croatia and Hungary, but Romania and Bulgaria are blamed for internal political reasons, i.e. to satisfy the right-wing electorate and to point out to the Union that Austria has many more asylum claims than it can handle. Once again, therefore, Austria stands out for practicing a selfish policy, which risks compromising the already precarious balance of European cohesion, bending Community interests to its own individual advantage; thus also the veto against Bulgaria, still the responsibility of the Austrians and the Dutch, risks directing the Bulgarian country towards positions ever closer to Russia. The Netherlands motivates its no due to the lack of minimum conditions for the functioning of the rule of law, a defect repeatedly noted and reported by the Dutch, for which the opposition to Bulgaria’s entry into the Schengen area, by Amsterdam , it was an expected fact; almost unexpected, on the contrary, the veto from Austria, which associated the reasons relating to migration issues valid for Romania also to the Bulgarian nation. In response to this refusal, the government in Sofia has threatened retaliation against the two countries, highlighting, once again, how the unanimity mechanism is now not only obsolete but evidently harmful to EU policy. From a strategic point of view, the non-admission of Bulgaria to Schengen represents a gross error, because it takes place in a country deeply blocked by an institutional crisis, due to the lack of agreement for the formation of the government, since the electoral outcome of last October, by the pro-Western majority forces and this can only favor the forces against the European Union, who, at the same time, openly sympathize with Putin. Austria and Holland, therefore, with the refusal towards Bulgaria and Romania, assume responsibility for the risk of decreasing European sympathies in territories contiguous to the conflict: a consequence not carefully evaluated or only overcome by trivial partisan interests.

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