Foreign Minister Kurz: The EU must be a global player, not just a global payer

Austria has always called for EU sanctions against countries of origin that are not cooperative on migration issues

Yesterday, the European Commission presented a new initiative for dealing with countries of origin in the refugee crisis. The initiative presented in the European Parliament focuses on making greater use of the EU’s political weight in solving the current migration movements by enabling the Commission in close cooperation with the Member States to counteract more effectively the causes of undesired flows of migrations and effect more returns in the future. This approach is supported by Foreign Minister Kurz: “The EU must not only act as global payer vis-à-vis the countries of origin but also needs to develop into a global player, which – if necessary – also takes appropriate steps vis-à-vis refugees’ countries of origin, if these countries do not cooperate on migration issues including, for instance, the return of their subjects.”

This new approach includes some major concerns Foreign Minister Kurz has for months now been supporting very pro-actively within the relevant European bodies. Federal Minister Kurz has thus repeatedly insisted on stepping up the relevant efforts undertaken by the EU and its Member States, for instance by urging Vice President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Neven Mimica to provide in the future for the opportunity of taking steps against states that prove uncooperative in re-admitting their subjects.

Together with a number of other states, Austria was also able to ensure that European flows of funds to the main countries of origin such as Afghanistan, Pakistan or Morocco will be reviewed in terms of the countries’ contributions towards fighting the root causes of their subjects’ flight, which may lead to a reallocation of such funds.

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