Austria to Reject EU’s Mandatory Migrant Quotas
Sebastian Kurz who in a few days will assume the role of Austria’s new Chancellor has disclosed that his administration will reject the European Union’s (EU) mandatory migrant quota.
The scheme was designed by the EU to help Italy and Greece manage the massive arrivals of migrants; estimated at the hundreds of thousands. In addition to Austria, other countries from Eastern and Central Europe such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are also not in favour of supporting the program.
The mandatory migrant quota program requires the European bloc to share an estimated 160,000 immigrants to help out frontline states Greece and Italy. The figure was agreed upon by the majority of EU leaders in 2015 but updated records show only 32,000 migrants have been relocated.
Coincidentally, EU President Donald Tusk has spoken about the shortfalls of the mandatory migrant quota. During the on-going summit in Brussels, Tusk shared his views that the program as it has been established is “ineffective” and “highly divisive”.
Kurz openly concurred with Tusk:
“Tusk is right when he says that the mandatory migrant quotas in the EU haven’t worked. I will work towards changing this erroneous refugee policy.”
Kurz who is currently the Foreign Minister prefers a “system change”. In a few days, Kurz will replace centre- left Chancellor, Christian Kern.
Tusk agrees with the dissenting European states that the first and foremost concern should be for the EU to allocate more funds to shore up border protection.
Tusk’s comments came under fire from EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos who referred to them as “unacceptable” and “anti- European”.
In Brussels, the summit failed to resolve differences between the Eastern and Western bloc on the issue of the migrant quotas. However, a consensus was reached for the EU to shore up Europe’s external deals via arrangements with third party countries such as Turkey and Libya.
The 31-year old Kurz was elected as Austria’s youngest Chancellor in last October’s elections. He is expected to announce a coalition arrangement with the populist far- right in a few days.