Refugees should not be allowed to apply for asylum from within the European Union, Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said on Tuesday, arguing that applications need to be made further afield.
“Such a new policy is needed in the medium to long term to bring to end the inhumane business of people smuggling,’’ the far-right minister said before chairing Thursday’s EU interior ministers meeting in Innsbruck.
“For this reason, the logical answer must be that asylum claims can only be filed from outside the EU.
“In addition, the offshore disembarkation centres for migrants that the EU is envisioning in regions such as Northern Africa should also not accept such claims,” Kickl said, reiterating the position of the Vienna government.
He proposed that refugees, who seek protection in an EU country should apply in or near the world’s crisis regions, but he did not spell out how this could work in practice.
“There will be many models we can think about,” he said.
Austria holds the rotating EU presidency between July and December