Germany and Austria are interested in reforming the EU’s asylum system. Both countries "are interested in a fair reallocation, but also in an equitable overall distribution," stressed Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday at a press conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. There is a high level of agreement between Austria and Germany on this point, and with regard to work in the countries of origin of migrants, i.e. development cooperation on the ground.
The Austrian Chancellor thanked Angela Merkel for the role played by the German government in Libya. "We consider it to be extremely important, because the situation there is terrible," said Sebastian Kurz. There has been no positive development there for far too long, he added. "We are thus very grateful that Germany has assumed the initiative, and in my opinion has made a major contribution to potential new dynamics."
In climate action too, the two countries share common goals, said Chancellor Angela Merkel. In this area they intend to take a common stance at European level.
As net contributors, the two leaders consulted in the run-up to the special meeting of the European Council on 20 February, which will be considering the future financial framework of the EU. For the German government, one important point is how the new federal states in the east are treated, said Angela Merkel.
Germany and Austria share much more than a common language and the fact that they are direct neighbours: there are few countries with which Germany enjoys such a rich cultural and social dialogue and exchange as with Austria.