Meeting Tajani-Kurz: migration is Europe’s biggest challenge and the Austrian Presidency has to provide concrete solutions
“Migration is our biggest challenge. It's putting at risk the very future of the European Union’’
said European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, following a meeting with Austrian Federal Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz. “In the next six months, under the coordination of the Austrian Presidency, the EU and its Member States are called to give concrete answers to the concerns of 500 million citizens. We cannot afford to fail’’, stressed Tajani.
“There is no solution to this challenge short of an EU approach based on a short, medium and long-term common migration strategy’’ emphasised the EP President. “We need to provide for 6 billion euros to stop departures with immediate effect from North Africa, just as we did with the Balkan route. In parallel, we have to support Libya in its stabilisation and democratisation process. We also need to secure 40 billion euro for an ambitious Marshall Plan for Africa targeted at creating opportunities for young Africans in their countries” added Tajani.
President Tajani concluded by recalling the importance of the upcoming June European Council and launched an appeal to EU leaders to show more resolve: “Reforming the European Union is not about changing the Treaties, it is about mustering the courage to take political decisions that respond to our citizens’ priorities, starting with the reform of the EU asylum system’’.
President Tajani met the Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in the context of the meeting of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament, with the incoming Austrian Council Presidency.
In the same context, Tajani also held a meeting with the President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, stressing the imperative that Austria continues to play its leverage role towards Eastern Europe and the Balkans: “Austria - said Tajani - should be regarded as a true European success story, having benefitted enormously from membership and enlargement. I am confident that the Austrian Presidency will succeed in strengthening the European neighbourhood’s stability, and in giving a clear EU perspective to the Western Balkans”.
The European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents met also with representatives of the Austrian National Parliament and participated in a debate at the University of Vienna. On the latter occasion President Tajani declared: “The dynamic debate in which we took part makes me optimistic and should motivate us to work harder to deliver for young people. We have to create employment by investing in digital technologies, creative industries and tourism”.
To access the media package for the visit to Vienna, please click here.
To check the programme of the Austrian Presidency click here.