“Forcing states to take refugees doesn’t take Europe any further,” he told the German newspaper Bild m Sonntag on Saturday, referring to “failed” attempts at redistributing migrants across the EU under a quota system.”
“Migrants who set off for Europe don’t want to go to Bulgaria or Hungary. They want to go to Germany, Austria or Sweden.”
More than one million people have entered the EU irregularly since 2015, many of them fleeing conflict and extreme poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
However, Kurz, who served as Austria’s foreign minister, has been a vocal critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy to refugees, saying it challenges the fabric of European society.
As Austria’s foreign minister, Kurz traveled to Macedonia’s southern border with Greece to see how authorities are preventing migrants from traveling northward towards central Europe
While serving as Austria’s foreign minister, Kurz traveled to Macedonia’s southern border with Greece to see how authorities are preventing migrants from traveling northward towards central Europe
‘Back it militarily’
Kurz has instead proposed that the EU consider providing support “militarily” to refugees by establishing secure conditions in their countries of origin, in what appeared to be a call for so-called “safe zones.”
De-escalation zones, also known as “safe zones,” have been implemented in Syria since earlier this year. They represent areas in which warring parties agree to not engage in combat, consequently establishing a secure place for humanitarian groups to serve those displaced by conflict.
“If (redistributing refugees) isn’t possible, then they should be helped in safe areas on their own continent,” Kurz said. “The EU should support that, perhaps even organize it, and back it militarily.” Last week, Kurz said in a Time magazine op-ed that the “robust control of the European Union’s external borders remains a prerequisite if we want to find sustainable solutions for the migration crisis.”
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