Austria, Balkans call for EU solution to migrant crisis

German and Austrian foreign ministers call for plan to solve migrant crisis in Europe

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Serbian Premier Aleksander Vucic, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini shake hands in the Western Balkans Summit

Updated Aug 28, 2015

The Western Balkans summit begins in Vienna on Thursday with leaders to discuss the migrant crisis in Europe and German and Austrian foreign ministers called for a quick European solution to the migrant crisis in Europe.

“If we are not able to find a quick European solution here, then more and more countries like Hungary and Denmark, who are already doing it, will try to solve this crisis for themselves on their own with individual measures and their own initiatives,"  Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said in a news conference during the opening of the Western Balkans summit.

"It won't work and above all it threatens our European idea of having open borders and with that proper security at the EU's outer borders," Kurz said. 

"And so I hope that we will be able to find a European answer and I can only once again say that I believe that only with a European solution will we be able to solve the migrant crisis together.” 

Serbia and Macedonia also said in the summit that EU must have an action plan for influx of migrants crossing the borders into Europe.

It has been reported that 107,500 migrants crossed the EU borders last month. Austria said in the summit the EU failed to solve the problem of the migrant influx into Europe.

A truck in which up to 50 migrants were found dead on a motorway near Parndorf, Austria

After the summit began, 50 refugees were found dead near the Hungarian border in eastern Austria.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that she and other leaders in the Western Balkans summit are "shaken" by the deaths of 50 migrants in Austria

Angela Merkel said  “we are of course all shaken by the appalling news that up to 50 people lost their lives because they got into a situation where these traffickers didn't look after them, even though these people were on the way to look for more safety and protection and then had to die such a tragic death."

"This reminds us that we must tackle quickly the issue of immigration and in a European spirit, that means in a spirit of solidarity, and to find solutions,” Merkel said.

The EU’s economically strong nations should help the Balkan countries handle the migrant crisis and share the burden of arrivals, she said.

Merkel said that “they're facing huge challenges and as they are future members of the European Union it is our duty to help them with these challenges.”

Tens of thousands of people hope to flee from conflict or poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to reach Europe in 2015. Those who tried to make their way north through the Balkans have caused tension among countries along the route.

The EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said that "there is no magic solution, there is no magic event that can solve issues from one day to another but the road we can follow to start making things work is very well known. We just need to take the consequent political decisions which are difficult, everywhere in Europe, and not only in Europe.”

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said that the countries had to work together to solve the migrant crisis.

“In this spirit of cooperation we must, regarding questions of asylum, make sure that one country does not come up with a proposal at the cost of another country, but that we develop proposals together which secure the outer borders but which also allow a fair distribution with a legally obligated quota.”

Europe has been witnessing its worst refugee crisis since World War Two, creating social tensions of the 28-nation European Union.

TRTWorld and agencies