EU-Kommission auf Besuch in Österreich

EU-Kommission auf Besuch in Österreich

EU-Kommission auf Besuch in ÖsterreichThe visit of the EU Commission to the Federal Government was dominated by the motto of the Austrian EU Presidency “A Europe that protects”. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and his team arrived in Vienna on Friday with the announcement that they would present a proposal on border management in September. There were also reactions to the German asylum compromise.

“I fully agree with what was said yesterday in Vienna,” said Juncker, referring to the statement of the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer during his visit to the capital on Thursday in the Federal Republic of Germany that Austria would not blame Austria for the refugees it was not responsible. Because apparently no legislative changes are planned, it can be assumed that the procedure is in conformity with European law. Even Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) referred again to the given assurances Seehofer. Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) also affirmed that “yesterday, we made it very clear and determined with the German Minister of the Interior (Horst) Seehofer that we would not carry out withdrawals”.

Die EU-Kommission drückt unterdessen bei der europäischen Migrationspolitik aufs Gas: “Wir haben uns verständigt, dass die Europäische Kommission im September einen Vorschlag zum Außengrenzschutz macht”, berichtete Juncker von den Gesprächen der EU-Kommission mit der Bundesregierung im Austria Center Vienna. Bei der gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz mit Kurz kündigte der EU-Kommissionschef an, die Aufstockung der europäischen Grenzschutzagentur Frontex auf 10.000 Beamte “ziehen wir jetzt auf 2020 vor”. Eigentlich war dies bis 2027 geplant.

He had agreed with the Austrian Presidency on close co-ordination and regular contacts, “even over the summer months”. “If the Council Presidency and the Commission do not cooperate closely, then things go wrong. It will not go wrong under the Austrian Presidency, “emphasized Juncker. As soon as he arrived, the Luxembourger explained that he was expecting “from Austria as always everything” in the next six months. And that Kurz is “very much on bridge building course, that suits me very well”.

Concerning the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and a possible conclusion under the EU Presidency, Kurz emphasized that they wanted to “continue the work here, but with a realistic view”. Three years ago, the EU Commission proposed seven legislative changes, including the Dublin reform. Of these, five are fundamentally uncontroversial. Kurz suggested that decision-ready parts of the legislative package should be preferred.

In addition to migration and security, other important topics are also on the agenda of the EU Presidency. On the negotiations on the EU budget (period 2021 to 2027) Kurz said: “There are still very different opinions among the EU states”, but at today’s meeting with the European Commission, a common timetable was drawn up, such as the negotiations should proceed. “Here is speed, but also thoroughness,” emphasized Juncker, but at the same time showed confidence that Austria will master this with its “usual charm”.

Also, the negotiations of Great Britain from the EU have to be made. Kurz was confident despite the recent delay in the Brexit negotiations. It “still gives enough time to be used,” he emphasized. If there is no timely agreement, “we should do everything to avoid a ‘hard Brexit’.

Against the background of national unilateral actions by EU states, President Alexander Van der Bellen has broken a lance for their cooperation. “Our only option is to act through cooperation and the answer can only be strong multilateralism,” tweeted Van der Bellen on the occasion of the visit of the EU Commission in Vienna.

“That’s exactly what the European Union stands for, as it is itself a European peace project, built on exactly this principle,” said the Federal President after a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Hofburg. “I am glad to receive you in Vienna,” wrote Van der Bellen.

“We have decided not only to hear the voices of the governments, but also those of the national parliaments,” stressed EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during a meeting with Austrian parliamentarians led by the President of the National Council Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP) and Federal Council President Inge Posch -Gruska (SPÖ).

Juncker also paid a visit to the House with the Commissioners, focusing on the pre-accession of the Western Balkan countries to the EU, subsidiarity, the EU’s multiannual financial framework and the migration issue, parliamentary correspondence reported. Everyone agreed on the need for a European perspective for the countries of the Western Balkans. This priority has also been underlined by EU External Representative Federica Mogherini and Neighborhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

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