Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on June 13 expressed their support for an “axis of the willing” tackling illegal migration into the European Union.
“In our view, we need an ‘axis of the willing’ in the fight against illegal migration,” Kurz told reporters after his meeting with the interior minister from Bavaria, which borders Austria.
Austria takes over the European Union’s rotating presidency on July 1 and one of its main priorities is to strengthen the EU border.
“I am happy about the good cooperation that we want to develop between Rome, Vienna and Berlin. I think it marks very sensible cooperation that will contribute to reducing illegal migration to Europe,” said Kurz.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Kurz met with Seehofer after first meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel the previous day.
Merkel and Seehofer are in dispute over a proposed new German “migration master plan”, delaying its release this week. A reported sticking point, according to DW, is Seehofer’s desire to send away migrants at the border if they have already applied for asylum elsewhere in Europe or if they have already been refused it in Germany. Merkel, meanwhile, is said to oppose any changes that would undermine European rules.
“It’s about [finding] a European solution,” Merkel said. “Therefore I believe that there should be many such forms of cooperation. In other words, not just this one direction, but many more if we want to reach a common European solution to the questions of illegal migration, but also on forms of legal migration.”