‘The EU’s migration policy has failed’ – Austria’s chancellor condemns Brussels as his country prepares for record-breaking number of illegal immigrants

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer addresses the media during a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Vienna, Austria, Thursday, July 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Theresa Wey, File)
By John Cody
4 Min Read

The European Union’s migration policy has failed mainly because there is a lack of interest in protecting the EU’s external borders, said Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer as a migrant crisis accelerates both in his country and other European nations.

“Austria is currently heavily burdened by illegal migration. The contribution that we are making in Europe is disproportionately high. The EU’s migration policy has failed. There is still no strong protection of the European Union’s external borders, and the reality of the problem is being ignored,” the ÖVP leader said Friday to Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung.

Austrian policemen check passports at the Slovakian border to Austria in Kittsee, Austria, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Austria has started checking travel documents at its border with Slovakia following a similar decision by the Czech Republic to keep migrants from entering without authorization. (AP Photo/Theresa Wey)

Europe’s illegal immigration numbers are exploding. By August, Austria had already received more than 56,000 asylum applications and the pace continued into September. Even after the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016, security experts are expecting a new record this year.

Nehammer’s remarks came right before he held a meeting on Monday with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán focused on Europe’s growing migrant crisis. Orbán invited both Nehammer and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučič to Budapest where the three leaders condemned Europe’s inaction on illegal immigration and pointed to the growing social and financial burdens on their countries.

The influx of migrants via the Balkan route, who enter Serbia without a visa, is particularly problematic. Consequently, citizens of India and other Asian countries travel to Belgrade by plane, with flights sold out for months. As Remix News has previously reported, 12 out of 16 of Germany’s federal states have announced that they will reject any new refugees due to a lack of housing and overcrowded schools and kindergartens.

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Due to this situation, “12 states have currently activated a block in the initial distribution system,” said a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior to the newspapers of the German RND media network in September.

“The burden on the federal states is resulting from the flight from Ukraine and general migration,” said the spokeswoman. “There is also currently an increase in the number of migrants on the Balkan route.”

Hungary has reported over 160,000 illegal migrant crossings since the beginning of the year, and Czechia has also called for increased border checks due to extreme overcrowding at migrant accommodation facilities.

Relations between Czechia and Slovakia are also strained due to the migrant crisis. Štefan Hamran, Slovakia’s police chief, called readmission agreements on the return of illegal migrants a “piece of paper.”

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If Slovakia started taking back all migrants at the border with the Czech Republic, we would not be able to do it,” Hamran told Denník N yesterday.

Slovak Interior Minister Roman Mikulec called for Hungary’s help in guarding the external border of the Schengen Area.

According to him, Slovak police officers could help their Hungarian colleagues on the Serbian-Hungarian border.

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