Illegal migration – “weaknesses”: Nehammer denounces EU asylum policy


Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) has called for a tougher approach to illegal migration in Europe. “We are experiencing enormous pressure here,” the former interior minister said at the European People’s Party (EPP) congress on Wednesday. That is why he calls for effective protection of the EU’s external borders. “We see our weaknesses in defense policy. Every country is being called upon to look at where cuts have been made for the wrong reasons for decades.” There is “a lot to catch up on” here.

Nehammer called on EU conservatives not to forget the issue of migration policy in view of the war in Ukraine. “We have to be very careful that this incredibly dramatic war does not obscure many other security concerns,” Nehammer said in Rotterdam. Problems such as illegal migration, terrorism or organized crime “continue to exist”.

“About 17,000 asylum applications from Afghanistan, Syria and Iran”
According to the chancellor, Austria has not only taken in more than 75,000 Ukrainians seeking protection, but has again received “about 17,000 asylum applications” from people from Afghanistan, Iran and Syria. “If you look up how they got to Austria, there’s a dramatic realization: the majority of them are unregistered,” Nehammer warned.

Migration in the EU: the smugglers’ new strategy
The Greek Coast Guard recently identified a change in Turkey’s migration routes to the EU. Traffickers are increasingly using the direct route from the Turkish coast to Italy. The reason for this is the tough stance of the Greek government. Just last week, the Greek coast guard prevented about 300 migrants from entering Greek waters in five large sailboats. In this regard, Nehammer praised the efforts of his conservative counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Nehammer was applauded several times during his speech, for example with his statements about Austrian security policy. “Austria is militarily neutral, but not when it comes to having an opinion,” he clearly denounced Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s EU accession? “Give seriousness to the question”
Nehammer made diplomatic statements on the contentious issue of Ukraine’s accession to the EU. You have to “dedicate yourself seriously and seriously to this question,” he said. But one must “dedicate oneself with the same seriousness and permanence to the question of the future of the Western Balkans”, he said to the applause of the delegates.

Source: Krone


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