Austria will not send a representative from its government to the signing of the final document of the Global Compact on migration in December in Morocco. Hungary and the Czech Republic have already withdrawn from the compact while Poland has also announced it wants to desert the signing of the document. The decision of the Austrian government took the European Commission by surprise. The EC spokesperson Natasha Bertraud underlined the great contribution of Austria in the negotiations over the past months, under the previous Socialist-led government. As Mrs. Bertraud also mentioned, the decision to sign the document of the Global Compact is an initiative of Member States and cannot be taken at the EU level.
Austria’s behaviour is a clear demonstration of a sovereigntist attitude and the national selfishness of some governments at the European level. It is even sadder to see that a global issue is managed in an egoistic way by Member States. This shows the regrettable divisions within Europe on the issue of immigration and how global ideological blocs are being created instead of decisive coalitions aimed at managing the issue properly.
International migration is a global phenomenon and SOLIDAR considers that it should be dealt with through a global shared approach, focusing on human needs and the respect of fundamental rights. The GCM is important for the EU to show greater cohesion on this issue and develop synergies between European policies and international cooperation, enhancing coordination on international migration. The Global Compact is an opportunity to strengthen benchmarks for the protection of asylum seekers, strongly supporting family reunification and safe pathways, preventing childhood statelessness, and better including migrants in national protection, education, health systems, and labour markets. SOLIDAR and its members will continue and strengthen their advocacy work to promote international cooperation, in order to guarantee social justice and the inclusion of migrants, worldwide. In the first week of November, the World Social Forum on migration issued a statement, of which SOLIDAR was a signatory, reiterating the call to states to comply with their obligations to fully respect human rights and provide immediate humanitarian assistance.