Austria proposes EU funding cuts for states opposing refugee distribution

EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

Austria Federal Chancellor Christian Kern speaks to media as he arrives for the European summit in Brussels, Belgium, 15 December 2016.

Austria proposes EU funding cuts for states opposing refugee distribution


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Solidarity is not a one-way street. So said Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern ahead of the EU summit in Brussels on March 9. The Social Democrat called for increased pressure on member states that continue to shirk their responsibility in the redistribution of refugees.

“In future, the money from the EU budget must be distributed more equally among the member countries,” Kern told German daily Die Welt.

“If countries continue to duck away from resolving the issue of migration, or tax dumping at the expense of their neighbours, they will no longer be able to receive net payments of billions from Brussels,” Kern said in the article.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Kern stressed that “selective solidarity” should lead to “selective payability among the net payers”.

In net terms, Austria accounted for some €851m of contributions to the European Union in 2015. Other net contributors were Germany (€14.3bn), the UK (€11.5bn) and France (€5.5bn).

According to DW, several Eastern European countries receive more money from the EU than they contribute. The largest net recipient is Poland with €9.5bn, followed by the Czech Republic (€5.7bn), Romania (€5.2bn) and Hungary (€4.6bn).

Speaking to Die Welt, Kern emphasised that he did not want to threaten any of his 27 fellow EU member states but merely wanted to point out connections.

“Germany or Austria will struggle to transfer billions to the EU budget if nothing’s done about wage and social dumping, and a fair distribution of refugees to all EU countries is deemed impossible,” he said.

In related news, The Guardian noted that 13,500 refugees have so far been redistributed under an EU scheme. Poland has not yet to accept a single migrant out of its allocated 6,182.

As many as 98,000 refugees are due to distributed by September.

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