Sweden Received Austria's Minister for Europe Edtstadler

Countries ♦ Published: December 6, 2022; 23:57 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria's Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler traveled to the Swedish capital Stockholm on a working visit and met with her Swedish counterpart Jessika Roswall for talks on the country's EU presidency next year. The Austrian minister also met with Nobel Prize winner in physics Anton Zeilinger to kick off "Nobel Week".

Austria's Federal Minister Karoline Edtstadler (l.) traveled to Stockholm for a working visit lasting several days and met with the Swedish EU Minister, Jessika Roswall (r.). / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Florian Schrötter

Austrian Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler is currently on a working visit to the Swedish capital Stockholm, where she met with her counterpart Jessika Roswall on Tuesday. Sweden will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union on Jan. 1, 2023.

"There are therefore many things to discuss, such as the work program of the Swedish presidency," Edtstadler explained, "and among them, for Austria, are issues such as the fight against illegal migration and climate change, as well as measures for greater competitiveness in Europe."

At the meeting, Edtstadler reiterated Austria's no to Schengen enlargement: "We cannot vote for the enlargement of the Schengen area, because this is also about the issue of the security of European citizens."

The Europe minister stressed that the Schengen area "does not work." Indeed, 75 percent of the asylum seekers coming to Austria had not been registered before, although this was against European law. But she said she was glad that there was now "some movement in the debate" and that, for example, the EU Commission had presented an action plan on the Balkan route, which Austria welcomed. "We are in favor of keeping the issue under discussion," the minister said. At the EU level, she said, there has "rarely been such a high level of attention" to the issue of migration as there is now.

"With Sweden, a state is taking over the presidency of the Council of the European Union that has a lot of experience when it comes to high numbers of migrants. Therefore, I am very confident that Sweden will do everything possible under the presidency to push forward solutions," Edtstadler stressed.

While the president must be an honest broker, she said, "when you have experienced these things in your own country," you make a special effort to find solutions for your people.

Edtstadler will also visit the headquarters of the Swedish Migration Board and a deportation center in the north of the Baltic Sea metropolis during her stay in Stockholm.

For Austria, the issues in European politics turn out to be more conservative after all, and the migration debate has once again become the most important issue for Austria.

Meeting with Nobel Prize winner Zeilinger

Minister Karoline Edtstadler met with this year's Nobel Prize winner in physics, Anton Zeilinger, at Stockholm airport. As Vindobona.org reported, physicist Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna received the Nobel Prize this October.

"The Nobel Prize in Physics is strong proof for Europe as a center of science and well-deserved recognition for Anton Zeilinger's impressive life's work. I congratulate him wholeheartedly on this award. Austria is proud to have such scientists," the Minister emphasized.

Edtstadler then visited the headquarters of the Ericsson telecommunications group. There, in her role as a member of the "Internet Governance Forum" launched by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, she held talks on the global regulation of the Internet, as Vindobona.org reported. "Ericsson is a global leader in communications technology. The company is focusing on the roll-out of 5G. Everything from driverless cars to weather balloons will rely on 5G to work," the Europe minister said.

Late Monday afternoon, she also visited a light installation by Austrian artist Eva Beierhammer to mark "Nobel Week Lights" in downtown Stockholm.

Federal Chancellory of Austria