Spanish Prime Minister Visited Vienna Tuesday to discuss the priorities of Spain’s upcoming EU presidency. As Spain prepares to take over the rotating EU presidency on July 1, 2023, Sanchez is currently on a tour of European capitals to present Madrid’s priorities.
Sanchez was welcomed by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in the Ballhausplatz, where they discussed various issues. However, the Spanish Prime Minister was met with some opposition as some Spanish government opponents gathered to demand his resignation.
During the visit, Sanchez met with Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer to discuss the EU migration package. The issue could prove to be a difficult one for Austria, but Kurz expressed his support for Spain, stating that the country needs support as a country on the outer border of Europe, just like Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania.
Both leaders agreed that while borders needed to be secured, it was also important to reach agreements with countries of origin and safe third countries. The leaders also discussed the need for deeper ties with Latin America and called for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the reindustrialization of Europe.
Sanchez and Kurz also share a similar position on the West Balkans, with Spain supporting Austria’s position that Bosnia should receive candidate status. The Spanish Prime Minister has further visits planned to Croatia and Slovenia.
As Spain takes over the rotating EU presidency, one of the country’s priorities is to promote the strategic autonomy of the EU. The EU has long been reliant on other countries for certain products, including medical equipment and technology. Spain aims to reduce the bloc’s dependence on other countries and become more self-reliant.
Another priority for Spain is to strengthen ties with Latin America. The EU has long had strong economic ties with Latin America, and Spain aims to build on this relationship to strengthen the EU’s global standing.
Additionally, Spain aims to accelerate negotiations on the EU migration and asylum package. With many countries in the EU struggling to handle the influx of migrants, Spain hopes to find a solution that is both effective and compassionate.
Sanchez’s visit to Vienna is part of a larger tour of European capitals, with the Spanish Prime Minister scheduled to visit several other countries in the coming weeks. As the EU faces numerous challenges, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty, Spain’s upcoming presidency will play an important role in shaping the future of the block.