The accreditation of two Bundeswehr officers from Romania to NATO had been delayed for several months due to the backlash from Austria’s Schengen veto. However, the situation has now changed as Bucharest has given its approval.
The daily newspaper, The press, reported this development in its Tuesday edition and online platforms. The news was verified by the Ministry of Defense in Vienna, which confirmed Bucharest’s approval on Monday evening.
The Ministry issued a statement saying, “As soon as the administration of the accreditation has been completed, the officers will be able to take up their jobs in the NATO structures in a timely manner.” Klaudia Tanner, the Defense Minister (ÖVP), stated that Austria has always been a constructive part of the European security architecture, cooperating within the framework of the Partnership for Peace. She emphasized that Austria has for decades been involved in international crisis management, maintaining peace and security, and contributes significantly above-average in relation to its population size.
Romanian Minister’s Visit to Vienna
Tanner also expressed optimism about the upcoming bilateral visit of the Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tîlvăr to Vienna at the end of February, viewing it as a positive indication of constructive cooperation.
Previously, Romania had obstructed the accreditation process multiple times by interrupting the circulation procedure, also known as the “silent procedure”, by requesting an extension of the deadline. This was perceived by some as an act of retaliation because Austria had vetoed Austria’s accession to Schengen, as reported by the “Presse”. However, Austria has now approved the expansion, at least for sea and air routes, leading to an easing of tensions with Romania.
Partnership for Peace
According to Presse, the two officers will be based in NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Brunssum, Netherlands, and in Mons, Belgium, which is NATO’s military headquarters, once the final formalities for accreditation have been completed.
Although Austria is not a NATO member, it frequently cooperates with the alliance under the so-called “Partnership for Peace” (PfP). An example of this cooperation is the participation of Austrians in the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo, which is mandated by the UN Security Council.