Austria’s incoming Chancellor and current Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has rejected migrant redistribution quotas, as the European Union remains deeply divided on migration following a summit this week.
Kurz agreed with President of the European Council Donald Tusk in rejecting the mandatory migrant quotas, which have also been deeply rejected by Central European member states like Hungary and Poland, Kronen Zeitung reports.
“Tusk is right when he says that mandatory refugee quotas have not worked in the EU, so I will argue that this incorrect refugee policy is changed,” Kurz said on Friday.
Kurz added that it was, “positive that Tusk and some European countries are committed to a proper external border protection and the use of more EU funds.”
On Thursday, the Visegrad Group — a bloc consisting of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic — announced they would be providing €35 million to Italy to beef up the shared European Union border and combat mass illegal migration.
Juncker: EU to ‘Sanction’ Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for Refusing Migrant Quotahttps://t.co/kv8J0p5rIP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 14, 2017
The European Union Commission does not agree with Mr Tusk or Mr Kurz’s stance on the quota issue, with Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, saying: “The paper prepared by President Tusk is unacceptable. It is anti-European, and it ignores all the work we have done during the past years and we’ve done this work together.”
German leader Angela Merkel, who has driven much of the EU’s agenda on migration in recent years, has backed the Commission and distanced herself from Tusk’s statement.
Merkel spoke on Friday about the Brussels summit on migration issues within the political bloc, saying, “Here, the positions have not changed.”
She added: “Solidarity must not only exist in the external dimension, it must also exist internally, and here we have a lot of work to do.”
Merkel is not as influential as she once was, however, having yet to form a new government after her record low result in September’s national elections.