Austria's Kurz seeks allies on migration at Visegrad meeting

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was invited to the meeting of the four Visegrad countries of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in Budapest by rightwing populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban. 

Austria's Kurz seeks allies on migration at Visegrad meeting

World Bulletin / News Desk

Austria and central European neighbours prepared to meet Thursday to discuss tightening the EU's borders against migrants as the dispute on the issue divides the 28-nation bloc.

According to the Austrian chancellery, the meeting will "focus on the protection of external frontiers, including the strengthening of (border agency) Frontex and measures to prevent illegal immigration via Albania".  

The gathering comes ahead of an informal summit on migration in Brussels planned by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for Sunday.

The Visegrad states have, like Kurz, traditionally taken a hardline stance on migration, including rejecting any suggestion of mandatory refugee resettlement among EU members.

In recent weeks migration policy has caused a destabilising row within German Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition between her CDU party and the more conservative Bavarian CSU.

Kurz has made common cause with CSU politicians, hosting the Bavarian state government for a joint cabinet session in the Austrian city of Linz on Wednesday.

The fate of the Aquarius, a ship carrying 630 migrants, has also put the spotlight back on the issue and sparked rows between EU member states.

After Italy's new populist government refused the ship entry to its ports, it eventually arrived in Spain over the weekend.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Haziran 2018, 13:39