Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz: We take on a great responsibility for Europe
Federal Government welcomes Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament
“With the Presidency of the Council we take on a great responsibility in Europe. This is why close cooperation with the EU institutions – the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament – is very important to us”, said Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz after the meeting of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament with the Austrian Federal Government during the press conference with Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament.
The government presented the Austrian priorities and “held a debate about a positive future of the European Union. We wish to place emphasis on a more efficient and focussed EU while at the same time strengthening subsidiarity. There will be a separate event dedicated to this topic in Vorarlberg”, said Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
The European Union should focus on protecting its external borders and securing competitiveness, thereby ensuring prosperity and the welfare state. Austria also wants to contribute to stability and security in Europe through an enhanced engagement with the Balkans. “We are taking over the presidency of the Council in times of tensions due to the refugee crisis, Brexit and international crises and it is the last full presidency of the Council before the elections to the European Parliament. Austria will make a contribution to strengthening cooperation within the EU”, said Kurz.
The President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani expressed his gratitude for the hospitality and underlined the great importance of the priorities Austria has set for its presidency of the Council. “When it comes to the issue of migration we are talking about Europe’s future. We have to find concrete answers for the citizens of the European Union, otherwise the political and social crisis will intensify”, said Tajani. “We need to strengthen Frontex and invest in Africa because we need to secure stability in the countries of origin in the long term.” Tajani spoke in favour of establishing protection centres for refugees and migrants outside of Europe under UN supervision.
Official photos of this event can be found on the official Flickr channel (www.flickr.com/eu2018at).
More information about the event can be found on the event page.