On Thursday, the President of the EU Parliament, Robeta Metsola, called for further support for Ukraine in the fight against Russia and also indirectly for the federal government to abandon its blockade position in Vienna over the Schengen expansion. “A stronger Schengen means a more secure Europe. A closer Europe means a better Europe,” the Maltese politician said in a speech to the National Council.
The European Parliament has pointed to a difficult path in European asylum reform, which protects borders while protecting those in need and acting with all rigor against people smugglers. Without directly addressing Austria’s veto on the Schengen expansion, Metsola demanded: “We can tackle this problem and protect and strengthen our Schengen area.”
While ÖVP foreign policy spokesman Reinhold Lopatka fully supported the Union’s position on the Ukraine issue, he indirectly criticized the migration issue. Austria is a reliable partner in the EU, but will speak out in the event of undesirable developments, such as in the area of migration. The burden on Austria here is worrying, it needs robust external border surveillance.
Metsola: “…then we risk everything we have inherited”
Beforehand, the high-ranking guest speaker emphasized the need to rethink the European security and defense policy, but also strategic autonomy and the digital and green transition. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine poses an existential threat to our Union and our way of life.” The conservative politician recalled what Europe had promised for generations: “That we stand for justice, for freedom, for the rule of law. Even when it is difficult. Especially then.” If Europe does not defend these values, you risk everything “that we have inherited”, warned the President of the European Parliament to the applause of MEPs.
The majority of Austrian MPs agreed with this position. For SPÖ deputy club boss Jörg Leichtfried, it has been proven that a united Europe can make a difference: “In Europe, the principle applies: not the law of the strongest, but the strength of the right.” NEOS club president Beate Meinl-Reisinger said staying power will be needed in the war in Ukraine: “Our way of life is at stake.” Europe must fight this against autocratism and fascism.
FPÖ: “Bastion of peace demolished”
As usual, the FPÖ mobilized against European Russia policy. Her MP Susanne Fürst accused the Union of tearing down “the bastion of peace”. The EU did not use its weight to defuse the situation, but turned the escalation screw with accession status, for example. Green Vice-President Meri Disoski had heard a contribution from “Radio Moscow” to Fürst’s speech and was already anxiously looking forward to next year’s European elections. There you have to deal with the most diverse forms of populism, including a pro-Russian one.
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.