fter European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker offered his views on Austria’s turn on the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, saying he was pleased with the legislative agreements reached during Austria’s presidency, as well as Vienna’s determination to move budget discussions forward, but that the Austrian presidency sent out “negative signals” when it refused to endorse the UN migration compact in December.
“It would have been really desirable if the presidency moved in that direction rather than sending out these negative signals,” said Juncker in front of conservative Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
The UN migration agreement, though non-binding, hoped to develop an evidence-based migration policy that would ensure access basic services and rights for asylum seekers.
The agreement was, however, highly controversial and cost Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel after coming under attack by his country’s anti-immigrant political factions.
Though highly critical of the government’s approach to the migrant question, Juncker praised Austria’s successful negotiations with both the European Parliament and the European Commission.