Austria’s Chancellor Kurz Calls on EU to Cut Executive Branch, Make Efficiency Savings

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz listens to questions during a joint media conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at EU headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

BERLIN (AP) – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is urging the European Union to cut management costs as Vienna prepares to take over the bloc’s rotating presidency next month.

Austria is one country that has opposed a bigger EU budget. Brussels wants agreement on a 2021-2027 spending package before European Parliament elections next May.

Kurz was quoted Tuesday as telling German newspaper Die Welt that Brussels should set “a good example and cut administrative costs.” He suggested that the EU’s executive Commission should be cut from 28 to 18 members, “based on a fair rotation principle,” to make the body more effective.

Kurz also advocated scrapping one of the European Parliament’s but conceded that France is unlikely to willingly give up Strasbourg as one of the co-headquarters alongside Brussels.