Marcel Ciolacu invites Karl Nehammer to Romania to see for himself that our country deserves Schengen status

PSD President Marcel Ciolacu sent the below letter to Karl Nehammer, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria in response to the Austrian government’s action to unilaterally veto Romanian accession to the Schengen Area. Romania has met every standard set for admission to the Schengen Area. Notwithstanding the full support of the European Commission and every other state in the EU, Austria alone has singled out Romania (and Bulgaria) to remain isolated from the full benefits of European democracy.

It is not entirely clear why Austria has chosen to draw the line at our border: we are defending Austria as much as we are defending the rest of Europe with our Romanian military and NATO forces. Even with tight budgets, we have pledged 2.5% defence funding from our national budget. Marcel Ciolacu sent the below letter to invite Chancellor Nehammer to Romania, to see for himself that Romania deserves Schengen status.

To Karl Nehammer, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria

Dear Chancellor,

Due to your vote, millions of Romanians and European citizens are deprived of their legitimate right to become part of the Schengen area. If you had cast a fair vote, Romania would have benefited today from European solidarity by becoming more integrated with the rest of Europe.

Romanians are as European as the Austrians are. We share the same values and expectations, and there are Austrian companies developing profitable businesses in Romania. Let us not forget that we are also on the frontline of the illegal war launched by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, and we have proven that we can take good care of our external European borders.

You should see this with your own eyes, before passing any judgments! We invite you to Romania to see and understand the efforts made by my country and our people. You should see what it means to stand as the first line of defense of Europe in a war against the Russian Federation. You should understand what it means to share a border that stretches hundreds of kilometres with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. You should see how we have provided shelter to hundreds of thousands of refugees, most of them mothers and children fleeing from the path of death and destruction. You should watch how we are shipping thousands of tons of grain on Romanian roads and through the Port of Constanta. You should see how we have supplied electricity so that our brothers and sisters at our border do not freeze from the cold that Putin had exposed them to!  

You should come to Romania and convince yourself that the Austrians can peacefully enjoy the Vienna Christmas markets because Romania and our NATO allies are working day and night in order to ensure security and stability for this region. Austria is safe thanks to Romania, your Excellency!

I would like to invite you, together with the Minister of Interior, to visit Romania. You should see all the efforts made by our country during all this time! Truth and justice are on our side and they will always prevail!

We await your visit to Romania,

Marcel Ciolacu

President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament

President of the Social Democratic Party