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Austrian Chancellor in Berlin

European response to illegal migration

European migration policy was at the heart of the meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Austrian counterpart in Berlin. There is a will, “to work closely with Austria and contribute to making Europe stronger and more united,” said Angela Merkel.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz agreed that the protection of the EU’s external borders must be stepped up. This is a “central point” in order to provide a “common European” response to illegal migration. Austria intends to make this a focal point of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and aims, for instance, to strengthen the Frontex border management agency – in terms of human and financial resources and in terms of a more robust mandate, said Sebastian Kurz.

She feels it is important “that Europe decides together rather than acting unilaterally” said Angela Merkel after their meeting. “In my view we should not leave the few countries where the refugees are arriving with the entire responsibility. We must find solutions together,” said the Chancellor.

The two heads of government met in the run-up to the June meeting of the European Council and Austria’s Presidency.

On 1 July Austria will take over the six-monthly rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The thematic focus of its Presidency is to be security. This will be the third Austrian Presidency. After joining the EU in 1995, it held the Presidency in 1998 and in 2006.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018