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Austria’s Taking Over of the EU Council Could Push it to its Breaking Point

January 5, 2018 by Richard Cox in Business with 0 Comments


Austria’s Taking Over of the EU Council Could Push it to its Breaking Point

As the new year 2018 unfolds, the divide between the older and relatively newer members of the European Union continues to widen. One of the most pressing issues that the council cannot seem to settle is the matter regarding border policies.

For a long time now, Italy has expressed its desire to issue visas that will allow migrants to travel around the EU as stock markets stabilize. Such attempt was aimed to pressure other members of the EU to do more in order to relieve the global crisis in migration. For a long time, Italy has been complaining about the fact that it is being left alone to manage the effects of the crisis concerning refugees that arrive on its shores. Apparently, this is highly inevitable as the country is one of the most accessible entry points and most popular routes for migrants coming from Libya.

The tug-of-war begins

According to the EU law, migrants should be kept in the first country of arrival; Italy does not accept this and continues to believe that migrants should be EU’s responsibility in general. However, as a blunt response to Italy’s decision of granting temporary migrant visas, Austrian leaders deem it to be unacceptable and even threatened EU of installing border controls in some areas.

  • In particular, Austrian Minister Sebastian Kurz even said that the border should be permanently shut down. According to him, the fact that visas would be issued is extremely ridiculous as it would cause more people to come. This will not relieve the burden for Italy itself and its neighboring countries.

  • Kurz added that should this Italy’s proposal be granted, Austria will not allow people to go to the north freely.

Predictions in 2018

Throughout history, Austria has long exhibited high levels of opposition to many EU policies. Austrian leaders pointed out that they don’t want to experience the same situation back in 2015 wherein EU did not respond to what happened.  Now, Austria seems to be ready to defend any time as border controls were already increased.

  • In the coming year, Austria is set to soon take over the presidency of the EU council. Furthermore, in 2018, Austria is predicted by many to join the Visegrád group (an EU minority group of anti-immigration states) and bring an end to the goal of EU to become a closer union of allies. Many experts believe that by joining the Visegrád group, Austria may have the chance to influence decisions concerning anti-immigration policies. When this happen, the common policies as well as the principles of EU will be put under serious strains.

  • The tension between the members of the EU is expected to get worse. Because of such turmoil, the status of financial markets, not only of the member countries but also the overall financial market will be affected.

  • Austria is considered to be a contributor to the net EU budget while the members of the Visegrád group are the receivers.   In particular, the effects of this impending threat on euro are predicted to be very severe as it is rapidly weakening towards parity against USD.

  • At the moment, the EU is currently trying its best to decipher the best ways to respond to the most severe challenges to its key values and rules of law.

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