Mixed Migration Hub Trend Bulletin, May 2018
Austria plans to use border guards in Africa
• Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has called for EU patrol guards to be sent the shores of North Africa to help prevent refugees, migrants and asylum seekers from departing to and reaching Europe through the Mediterranean. He has underlined the need to elicit agreements from the governments of Northern African countries to allow European border guards to operate there to prevent boats from taking off in dangerous journeys in the sea. He stated that this mandate would enable the Frontex authorities end the illicit trade in smuggling and trafficking in persons. These declarations are a good indicator for Austria’s migration policy during its rotational presidency of the EU council that will begin starting this July. Kurz is already known for his stance against migration as well as refugees and asylum seekers.
EU Migration Commissioner assesses progress made and calls for more action
• Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Migration Commissioner, declared in a conference in Brussels that while progress was made by EU countries in handling migration issues, much remains to be done. Commissioner Avramopoulos said that structural and Longterm solutions were necessary and that EU member states should take serious action concerning the return of failed asylum applicants and to help with addressing the gaps in the European border and coast guard. He further emphasized that there is an increase in the number of crossings along the Greek-Turkish border, the numbers are still considerably less than at the height of the ‘migration crisis’. He also stressed that he is against the idea of building a wall border between Greece and Turkey because, for him, Europe will never become “Fortress Europe” and the unity is a key to handle the migration situation.