Pass Thru Politics: EU Says Austria’s Refugee Quotas Violate Geneva Convention; In Praise of Austria

Merkel, EU Attack Austria’s Refugee Quotas

Earlier this week, Austria announced plans to cap the daily and annual number of refugees it would accept. That’s the start of a sensible plan.

by Mish

Merkel, EU Attack Austria’s Refugee Quotas

Nonetheless, and as easily expected, Austria’s program is already under attack by the EU, by EC president Jean-Claude-Juncker, and by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The EU has condemned a move by Austria to cap the number of asylum seekers arriving in the country, accusing Vienna of breaking international laws and calling on it to reverse the policy.
Officials said Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, would deliver an admonishment to Werner Faymann, the Austrian chancellor, at a dinner on Thursday evening in Brussels, where EU leaders have gathered for a summit. Mr Faymann’s German counterpart, Angela Merkel, is also expected to criticise the move, EU officials said.
Vienna this week announced plans to limit the number of refugees who could apply for asylum at the Austrian border to 80 a day. Critics said this contravened the Geneva Convention, of which Austria is a founding signatory, that stated countries were required to hear all applications by refugees seeking asylum.
Under its policy, Austria would still allow people to travel through the country to apply for asylum in Germany, although this number would be capped at 3,200 a day.
But this directly contradicts previous efforts by Brussels to stop countries “waving through” migrants, in a bid to control the flow of people heading to northern Europe along the so-called western Balkans route, which stretches from Greece to Germany via the former Yugoslavia.

Schengen Violations

Please recall that the Schengen Agreement, to which 26 European countries are signatories, requires refugees to apply for asylum in the first country they enter.

That’s an admittedly stupid regulation since it puts huge pressure on countries on the periphery of the Schengen area. Nonetheless, that’s the rule.

Greece, a Schengen country, borders non-Schengen Turkey, and under the agreement, Greece is supposed to bear the brunt of registering millions of refugees entering Europe.

Economic Refugees

However, neither the Schengen agreement nor the Geneva convention controls the migration of economic refugees.

Logic dictates that those fleeing war-torn Syria already escaped Syria once they arrived in Turkey. At that point, any further movement into Europe is for economic reasons, not political ones.

Neither the Geneva convention nor the Schengen agreement should even come into play.

“Just Say No”

Austria could and arguably should do the smart thing: block 100% of economic-refugees. Such a move would also block terrorists posing as refugees.

Instead, Austria has agreed to take 80 refugees a day. Austria should be praised for its generosity!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock