Fences and walls against migrants: Austria calls for the strengthening of the EU’s external borders
Fences and walls against migrants
Austria demands strengthening of the EU’s external borders
2/9/2023 2:08 am
Austria’s Chancellor Nehammer is calling for a tougher approach to EU asylum policy. Migrants are to be prevented from crossing the border with new fences and walls. The German government advocates a different approach.
Before today’s special EU summit in Brussels, a fundamental dispute over the course of immigration policy has emerged. The Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer called for the European Union to be more sealed off against migrants at the external borders. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on the other hand, campaigned on Wednesday for targeted “immigration of workers”.
Nehammer from the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) told the “Bild” newspaper: “It cannot be that migrants crossing safe third countries cross EU external borders unhindered. Physical infrastructure and barriers are necessary to protect these external borders. ”
Nehammer called for “financial support from the EU” for such fences and walls. A few days ago, the Austrian chancellor demanded two billion euros from the EU for the expansion of the border facilities between Bulgaria and Turkey.
Scholz underlined the need for “effective control of our external borders” in a government statement in the Bundestag on the EU summit on Wednesday. At the same time, however, he emphasized: “More and more countries in Europe are dependent on the immigration of workers.” That also applies to Germany. The Federal Republic needs “large numbers of skilled workers”. He also praised the “great humanity” in Germany’s reception of the approximately one million Ukraine refugees.
According to EU diplomats, Nehammer sees himself as a mouthpiece for a growing number of member states that are calling for a tougher approach to asylum policy. Germany, on the other hand, is one of four to five countries that emphasize the benefits of migration. They reject new fences and walls and do not want to put pressure on the countries of origin of the migrants by withdrawing development aid or visas, as is being discussed in the EU.
According to information from Brussels, representatives of the member states were still struggling to formulate the joint final declaration shortly before the start of the summit. Austria advocated the harshest possible language.