Current Affairs
Progress seems to have been made in sectors identified by Austrian Presidency of EU Council

The Austrian Presidency of the EU Council is drawing to an end, with the Austrian Ambassador for Malta, Andreas Stadler, saying that progress has been registered in the three sectors identified as its main targets. These include the sectors of security and immigration.

Under the title, ‘A Europe which protects’, Australia took over the Presidency of the EU Council as from 1 July of this year, which comes to a close at the end of this month.  This is the third time that Austria has led the Presidency of the EU Council, the other two times being in 1998 and in 2006. In an interview with TVM, Ambassador Andreas Stadler, said that Austria had identified security and the fight against immigration, the digital economy, and the stability and relationship of the EU with Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia as its main priorities.

Asked whether he thinks there have been any notable improvements in immigration during the Austrian Presidency, Ambassador Stadler said that the meeting of the European Council held in October in Salzburg helped for immigration to be reduced.

”So we are starting to manage the challenge and we are getting from a phase of basically unadministered or chaotic migration, to a phase where we can actually organise migration which is important for our external and internal security.”

He added that in three years, Austria has accepted more than 200,000 immigrants and added that this is why efforts need to be made throughout the EU for immigration to be better controlled.

”We need to make sure that all the member states collaborate in securing the borders, so we do this together, and we need to work on a common European asylum policy which will define very clearly who is entitled to get asylum in Europe,” the Ambassador added.

Speaking about the digital economy,  the Austrian Ambassador to Malta said that this is of great interest to Malta because he said that the island has made great strides to be considered the blockchain island.

Over the next year, Romania and Finland will hold the title of Presidency of the European Council.

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