April 19. 2024. 9:01

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Nehammer to team up with Nordics on EU migration transformation

Centre-right Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has visited Copenhagen and Stockholm to bolster the three countries’ coordination on transforming the EU’s migration regime.

Vienna’s politicians continue to debate migration policy. Nehammer aims to make Austria less attractive to migrants, by cutting social support payments in a migrant’s initial years following their arrival. Denmark, where similar policies are already in place, and centre-right Sweden supported by the far-right, make ideal partners in his EU-wide push.

“We are like-minded countries in many issues, including migration,” said Denmark’s Friederike Mette (S&D) after talks with Nehammer on Friday. “We are allies in fighting illegal migration,” said Nehammer.

“Once again, we see increasing numbers arriving in Europe,” Mette said, adding that Austria is among the “hardest hit.”

For the Danish leader, the solution is obvious. The bloc ought to “remove incentives to embark on dangerous journeys to Europe,” she said. This was a good example to Austria, Nehammer noted. Domestically, legal experts challenge the validity of his plan to cut social support to migrants.

Going forward, the two want to continue pressing Brussels on migration.

In June, the EU’s leaders will meet in Brussels to conduct a “significant evaluation” of the migration issue. Going into the meeting, Denmark had sent a letter to the Commission urging it to take action – signed by Austria.

“There is a momentum in the EU, something is finally moving,” said centre-right politician and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (EPP), alongside Nehammer the day before.

(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer | EURACTIV.de)