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REFILE Incoming Austrian chancellor plans post-inauguration Brussels visit

Europe
17.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Brussels (dpa) - Sebastian Kurz has chosen Brussels, the seat of the European Union, to be his first destination after he takes the reins as Austria‘s new chancellor on Monday.

The Tuesday visit to the Belgian capital, confirmed by the European Commission, constitutes a pro-EU gesture from Kurz amid simmering concerns about Austria‘s stance toward the bloc.

Kurz, a 31-year-old former foreign minister, is set to lead a centre-right coalition with the right-wing populist Freedom Party (FPOe), which struck a tone during the election campaign that was critical of Europe.

On Saturday, the FPOe and Kurz‘s conservative People‘s Party (OeVP) presented a 180-page government coalition pact that included a steadfast commitment to the European Union, pledging not to waver from Austria‘s EU membership or participation in other international organizations.

"Only in a strong Europe can there also be a strong Austria in which we have the ability to use the opportunities of the 21st Century," the pact‘s prologue read.

Kurz‘s OeVP won the October elections after it shifted right and echoed FPOe positions on curbing immigration and countering the perceived threat of Islamization.

 

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