Schengen Visa

Austrian Interior Minister Calls for Urgent Reform of European Asylum System

EU Entrance roadsign blocked by the Border fence between Rastina Serbia and Bacsszentgyorgy Hungary

The Interior Minister of Austria, Gerhard Karner, has said that reform of the European asylum system is urgently needed.

The Minister outlined the central reform points of future European migration and asylum pact, such as asylum procedures in third countries, fewer social welfare initiatives as well as faster asylum procedures, reports.

His comments came during an interview that the Minister had with “Bild am Sonntag” on May 28, 2023, the Ministry of the Interior confirmed through a statement.

“The European asylum system is now so broken that we have to rebuild it. We have to step on the asylum brakes,” Karner pointed out.

According to the statement of Austria’s Ministry of Interior, the smuggling mafia had to be deprived of its business basis, which led the Minister to call for making asylum procedures possible for outside Europe, after, according to him only Denmark is taking concrete steps in this regard.

Authorities in Denmark have passed a law that permits asylum centres in other countries. This means that authorities are eligible to send asylum seekers to third countries, where they are obliged to wait until their application is processed.

 “I’m pushing for the possibility, like Denmark already has, of carrying out asylum procedures in safe third countries, to enable other European countries. Only then could,” the Minister noted.

According to the Minister, another point of reform consists of the reduction of social assistance.

“The incentive must be to work, not to be satisfied with what you get in terms of public support,” the Minister noted.

Karner stressed that a large number of migrants from Tunisia and India would “for purely economic reasons” on the way to Europe.

In addition, the Minister has estimated that a cut in social assistance should be applied not only in Austria but also to the entire European countries, otherwise, there would be countries considered as target states.

The Minister considered the controls at the shared border with Hungary and Slovenia successful, despite the fact that they have often been criticized.

Karner said that their Austrian police officers are also placed in Austrian territory, and according to him, they alone caught over 60 people smugglers in just a few months.

The Minister said that in contrast to other countries in Europe, Austria is experiencing a decrease in the number of asylum applications.

Austria considers the migration situation as one of the most significant issues for which an immediate solution should be found. Illegal border crossing concerns were also the reason that authorities in Austria blocked the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the borderless area of Schengen.