Tuesday, June 6, 2023

How The “No To The Migration Pact” Came About

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Lisa Fischer
Lisa Fischer
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Strache’s office provided text modules for the Council of Ministers. Experts from the State Department were not consulted at all. And even the Foreign Minister could not prevail.


It is only a small word, but it reveals a lot: The ministerial presentation on Wednesday was the “Global Pact for safe, regulated and planned migration” the speech, the Austrian federal government does not accept. The term “planned” was only found in relevant right-wing forums. In the official German translation, the UN document is called “Global Compact for safe, and regular migration”.

According to information of the press, the vice-chancellor of FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache sent the text to the Cabinet of Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl for the ministerial report. This also explains why it wrongly insinuates that the UN Migration Pact postulates a “human right to migration”. Strache has been claiming this for some time. The Chancellor’s Office was also involved, but leading experts of the Foreign Office were wisely excluded.

Kneissl himself is said to have long tried to explain to the FPÖ leadership that the UN
migration pact was legally non-binding and therefore would not have to be rejected in good shape. She also wanted to send a representative to the migration conference in Marrakech. At least Austria will abstain in the vote on the Migration Pact in the General Assembly and not vote against it. Chancellor Kurz had insisted on that.

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen defended the migration pact on Friday. Too late. He hopes that the government will do everything in its power to avert Austria’s threat of losing its reputation, the head of state wrote.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, former German-French MEP of the Greens, finds it “unbearable that Austria is now leaving the UN pact on migration and refugees”. The decision was “stupid, wrong, and is dangerous for Austria,” said Cohn-Bendit in an interview with the “Standard” (Saturday edition).

There is also a protest among the citizens. A campaign against the government’s withdrawal from the UNO Migration Pact is on the Internet. On the platform www.aufstehn.at over 109,000 people declared their support for the 23 goals of the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration”.

The association #aufstehn sees itself as a civic actor who wants to “reduce access barriers to political processes and enable co-determination”. Concrete political consequences are not likely.

Sources: Die Presse

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