Austria, Balkan states to coordinate migration at Wednesday meeting

Interior and foreign ministers from Western Balkan countries and Austria are set to gather Wednesday in Vienna to coordinate their increasingly restrictive border policies.

Austria convened the meeting to fine-tune refugee policies along the Balkan route after the Vienna government introduced daily quotas at its borders on Friday, Interior Ministry sources told dpa in Vienna on Sunday.

The discussions are to take place one day before Thursday's meeting of EU interior and justice ministers in Brussels.

Austria limits daily entry to 80 people seeking protection on its territory, and to 3,200 additional refugees who are transiting to neighbouring Germany.

Balkan countries have reacted by temporarily closing border crossings, and they are transporting refugees in accordance with the daily numbers taken in by Austria, in an effort to curb the migratory flow.

The EU Commission, as well as German and Greek politicians have voiced conflicting concerns that policies in Austria and the Balkans will end up trapping refugees in Greece, and that too many people will be sent to Germany.

Austria has invited ministers from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia to Vienna.

Last update: Sun, 21/02/2016 - 16:10

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