The President of the European People’s Party (EPP), Joseph Daul warmly welcomes the start of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) under the leadership of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz:

“Austria takes the Presidency of the Council of the European Union at a moment of crucial choices for our continent. In the next six months, decisions on Brexit, on the EU budget or migration will shape the European Union’s future. The stakes are high but I trust Sebastian Kurz and the ÖVP to deliver for the European people

Our first duty is to safeguard Europe’s future and protect our citizens. So the slogan of the Austrian Presidency “A Europe that protects” is extremely timely. By focusing on the EU’s core competencies, the Austrian Presidency will deliver for citizens’ security, safety and prosperity, as the EPP has long advocated for.

Our citizens look towards Brussels for answers to European challenges such as migration. We need to secure the EU’s external borders and create a viable common asylum system in the EU. By tackling illegal immigration and developing an integrated approach towards Africa to address migration root causes, Chancellor Kurz and the Austrian Presidency will show that they are listening and responding to the citizens concerns.

I am also particularly heartened to see that the Austrian Presidency will build on the Bulgarian Presidency’s work on the Western Balkan region, which has always been on top of EPP’s agenda. The Western Balkans and the EU have a common history, geography and economy. Without a common future, the EU will not be complete.

The future is also about digital innovations that are reshaping our society, economy and industries at a scale and speed like never before. The Austrian presidency is committed to leveraging the benefits and tackling the challenges of digitalization to prepare our workforce and make sure that no one is left behind.

I wish Austria a lot of success for their Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Knowing the determination and European commitment of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and ÖVP, I am convinced that he will deliver on the challenges facing European citizens today.”

Note to editors:

The EPP is the largest and most influential European-level political party of the centre-right, which currently includes 77 member parties and partners from 41 countries, the Presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament, 8 EU and 5 non-EU heads of state and government, 13 members of the European Commission and the largest Group in the European Parliament.

For more information:

Siegfried Muresan, EPP Spokesperson, Tel. +32 22854147