Chancellor Nehammer Emphasizes Migration Subject in the EU

CompaniesOther ♦ Published: February 9, 2023; 21:49 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer at the EU summit has called for more financing for EU border protection. He also called for more control on irregular migration at EU level.

Austrian Chancellor Has Called for an Asylum Break at the EU Summit. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Florian Schrötter

Chancellor Karl Nehammer continues to put pressure on EU funding for border protection. Nehammer was not yet satisfied with a draft of the final declaration on migration that was presented to the EU heads of state and government that evening. "It must be expressed even more strongly that help is happening," demanded the Chancellor on the sidelines of the EU special summit. "We need a difference from what was before." Presumably "every word" will be discussed, "but it is necessary to use the time to make the gravitas, the emphasis, visible in the formulated words", emphasized Nehammer, according to ORF.

"Today's summit meeting is very important for Austria because the issue of migration is right at the top of the agenda," emphasized Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer in the run-up to the extraordinary meeting of the European Council in Brussels. The conference takes place with the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj and has migration as a main topic on the agenda. According to the Chancellor, Austria, together with the Netherlands, worked to ensure that the summit took place at all.

As reported by ORF, before the EU summit, Nehammer stated that “funds had to be made available. Whether some call it a fence, others call it a technical infrastructure – the decisive factor is that Bulgaria is helped.” This involves strengthening the fence on the Bulgarian-Turkish border and monitoring it. "Every fence is only as good as it is monitored," emphasized Nehammer. Austria will work towards this. The "phenomenon of irregular migration is back in its entirety, and countermeasures are needed that work," said the Chancellor. "We have to put the brakes on asylum throughout the European Union, and now is the time."

Before the summit, Nehammer had repeatedly called for border fences to be financed with EU funds. The EU Commission always rejected Nehammer's request and emphasized that money would be made available for border measures such as surveillance cameras or personnel, according to ORF. Nehammer received support from Greece. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he was "absolutely" in favor of EU-funded fences. "It is not logical that the EU pays for technology, drones, and surveillance, but not the fences themselves." Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, on the other hand, said: "It would be a shame if a wall were built in Europe with the European stars on it.”

In his statement, the Federal Chancellor also emphasized Austria's solidarity with the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria: "The people there are in great need, my sympathy goes to the families and relatives." Austria will help, soldiers are on site, funds have been made available, and will also provide further assistance within the framework of the European Union, concluded Chancellor Nehammer.