Tusk, Kurz alliance could affect EU debate on quota scheme

  • Giada Negri
  • 19.2.2018 14:46

On 13 February, the European Council President, Donald Tusk, stated he shares similar views on migration with the conservative Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. During its 2018 presidency of the council, Austria is expected to support the EU border protection approach but reject the emergency quota relocation scheme, and will likely count on Tusk's, as well as on the V4's support.

Tusk has already expressed his opposition towards the idea of a compulsory quota system which he designated as "highly divisive and ineffective", a stance for which he was criticized by the European Commission. Finding an agreement on the Dublin IV system reform is one of the priorities of the current Bulgarian EU Presidency. While common asylum policy falls in the agenda of the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) under the qualified majority voting, the EC wants to reach a consensus on the European Council level to avoid a new political crisis such as the one in the aftermath of the 2015 JHA vote. However, a compromise is still very far, as the V4's standpoint, backed by Austria, and possibly by Romania (who in 2015 voted against the relocation), is obviously gaining traction. If the reform is postponed until July, Austria's EU presidency supported by Tusk will further strengthen Visegrad's position.


About author: Giada Negri


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