Everyone also agrees on improving external border protection and the readmission agreement. Karner emphasized that there is currently no need to talk about a distribution mechanism.
“We absolutely need progress” on the migration issue, Karner told journalists. As a landlocked country, Austria registered the second most asylum applications in Europe last year in terms of population. “That means something isn’t working in the system here,” said the Interior Minister, who expressed his gratitude for the initiative of the French Council Presidency.
In support of the “Alliance of Reason”, Karner was optimistic. He referred to a joint declaration by 16 EU countries that are demanding financial aid from the EU Commission, for example to build fences and other fortifications at the external borders. This majority of EU countries also includes Lithuania and Poland.
Meanwhile, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser advocated a “coalition of the willing” to take in refugees. She also spoke out against more isolation from Europe. “Germany still stands for an open, humane Europe,” said the Social Democrat. She supports the approach of French President Emmanuel Macron. “I agree with him: freedom of movement can only exist with better controls (at the EU’s external borders).”
The interior ministers of the EU states will discuss solutions for the deadlocked asylum and migration policy on Thursday. In essence, it is about the question of whether and how people seeking protection are distributed in the EU.
Because there is no progress, the countries have recently focused on better border protection and cooperation with third countries. France, which coordinates the negotiations of the member states as the current EU Council Presidency, wants to make small steps forward. There will be no decisions in Lille.
On Thursday, among other things, cooperation with countries of origin and transit will be discussed. Against the background of the Belarus crisis, strong migration across the English Channel and cross-border crime, another topic is the protection of the EU’s external borders.