Austria follows US and Hungary in withdrawing from UN migration pact

There are concerns it will blur the line between legal and illegal migration


Austria will follow the United States and Hungary in backing out of a United Nations migration pact over concerns it will blur the line between legal and illegal migration, the right-wing government said on Wednesday.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was approved in July by all 193 member nations except the United States, which backed out last year.

Hungary’s right-wing government has already since said it will not sign the final document at a ceremony in Morocco in December. Poland is also considering taking a similar step.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, a conservative and immigration hard-liner, confirmed that Austria would be not signing the pact.

In a statement, he said: “We view some points of the migration pact very critically, such as the mixing up of seeking protection with labour migration.”

Austria took in roughly one percent of its population in asylum seekers in 2015 during a migration crisis in which more than a million people traveled to Europe.

Concerns linked to an influx of migrants dominated last year’s parliamentary election and helped propel Kurz’s conservatives to power in a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party.

The non-binding UN pact is aimed at making migration safe and orderly. It addresses issues such as how to protect people who migrate, how to integrate them into new countries and how to return them to their home countries.

Source: euronews