This content is not available in your region

Austria's EU presidency

Access to the comments Comments
By Stefan Grobe
Austria's EU presidency
Copyright  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

When Austria met the EU Commission... Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his entire cabinet came to Brussels on Wednesday to meet with the European Commission and present Vienna's programme for the EU presidency which starts on 1st July. 

Kurz's focus will be on security, migration, budget cuts and Brexit. He sees himself as a bridge builder with influence in Washington as well as in Moscow and wants Europe to become a partner for all global players.

At a joint press conference, Juncker announced:

"We absolutely need to deliver on migration. When this will be the case is difficult to tell right now. We will debate this issue during our June summit meeting. There has been a tense discussion during the latest Home Affairs Council meeting. For me securing the external borders is more important than anything else."

It was then Chancellor Kurz's turn to take the podium and affirm his vision of Vienna's EU presidency.

"We see Austria as a bridge builder within the European Union. During the past years as foreign minister, I have seen firsthand how divisions have deepened within Europe between north and south, between east and west," Kurz explained. "We would like to make a contribution to reducing tensions and to foster a stronger feeling of togetherness within the European Union."

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker described the meeting as 'extremely positive' and said he expected big things from the Austrian presidency.

Journalist • Jim OHagan