World, Europe

EU leaders to discuss migration, Brexit in Salzburg

German Chancellor Merkel meets Austrian counterpart Kurz ahead of informal EU leaders’ summit next week in Austria

16.09.2018
EU leaders to discuss migration, Brexit in Salzburg German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (L) prepare to hold a joint press conference ahead of their meeting in Berlin, Germany on September 16, 2018. ( Abdülhamid Hoşbaş - Anadolu Agency )

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN

European Union leaders will discuss next week new proposals to protect the EU’s external borders and control migration, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting with her Austrian counterpart in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel said they would exchange views on the agenda of next week’s informal EU leaders’ summit.

“We share the priorities of the Austrian presidency, that is to say, we must focus on protecting our external borders,” Merkel said.

“European Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker has recently made some far-reaching proposals on this topic, I welcome these proposals,” she added.

Merkel also called for a strong cooperation between the EU and African countries to control migration, and underlined that the leaders would also discuss proposals on this topic during their meeting in Salzburg next week.

Last week, Juncker had proposed new measures to strengthen controls at the EU’s external borders, and suggested sending 10,000 more border guards to tackle illegal immigration.

Juncker also announced plans to further develop the European Asylum Agency to assist member states in processing asylum seekers, and promised measures to accelerate the return of irregular migrants.

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told reporters on Sunday, ahead of his meeting with Merkel, that besides the issues of migration and internal security, ongoing Brexit negotiations with the U.K. would be another major topic of discussion.

European Union leaders will gather in Austria’s Salzburg city for a two-day informal summit on Sep 19-20.

Austria is holding the EU's rotating six-month presidency until the end of this year.

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