The Austrian Minister of Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner has argued that if the external Schengen borders, namely the border between Greece and Turkey, cannot be protected, then the Schengen border must move ‘further inland in Europe’.

This statement, which reflects Vienna’s desire to ‘temporarily exclude’ Greece from the Schengen zone, was made upon the Austrian Minister’s arrival at the summit meeting of the EU’s Interior and Migration ministers. In a recent interview for the German Die Welt newspaper, the Austrian Minister claimed that it is a “myth” that the border between Greece and Turkey cannot be protected.

The European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos has publicly challenged such opinions, arguing that a temporary exclusion from the Schengen zone may in turn bring upon the collapse of the European Union. The Commissioner has insisted that the European integration and solidarity must be supported and argued that no country alone can make it on its own.