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As Austria prepares to take over the European Union presidency on July 1 within the midst of a continent-wide refugee disaster, the nation’s ambassador to Canada is urging Europe, the United States and Canada to make clear the foundations on who counts as a refugee or a migrant.

« What we need to develop is a set of joint ideas on what is refugee status and what is migration, » Stefan Pehringer mentioned in an interview with Vassy Kapelos on CBC News Network’s Power and Politics

« Who is a refugee and who is a migrant? We’re talking about two different statuses. It’s perfectly legitimate to want to migrate to another country … but being a refugee is something else and we do need to make that distinction. »

Pehringer, who represents a hard-right coalition authorities that has taken an aggressive stance on immigration, referred to as on all nations — together with Canada and the U.S. — to outline refugee standing and migrant standing « in a stringent way, but also in a humane way. »

It’s an echo of the message in a brand new report ready for the Trudeau authorities that notes the rising pattern of individuals utilizing the asylum course of in Canada as a substitute of normal immigration channels.

The unbiased overview says that Canada should streamline and expedite its refugee declare system. 

Pehringer conceded that deciding who qualifies as a refugee and who’s a migrant is a « very delicate question. » Citing the latest U.S. immigration crackdown — which produced reams of experiences about distraught migrant kids taken from their mother and father — Pehringer referred to as it « very disturbing and heartbreaking to see kids being separated from their families. »

« I think the U.S. administration, the president — not unlike other countries — is struggling to define refugee status and migrant status, » he added. « And we have to [define] it both in America and in Europe in a stringent way, but also in a humane way. »

EU heads into crucial migrant summit

European leaders are headed right into a key two-day summit on migration in Brussels starting Thursday. The summit comes as a political disaster is worsening on the continent over migration, with nations comparable to Italy and Malta refusing to let migrant rescue ships dock of their harbours.

Austria is making ready to push for stricter migration coverage in Europe as a part of its presidency. According to an Austrian authorities doc obtained by the Financial Times, it is trying into the potential for creating a brand new safety system during which asylum seekers would file purposes earlier than getting into Europe.

Another proposal being thought of by the EU would increase upon the concept of creating camps in North Africa to deal with migrants rescued at sea.

Pehringer mentioned Austria’s robust method to migration coverage — led by 31-year-old far-right Chancellor Sebastian Kurz — is important following the 2015 surge of migrants to numerous European nations in 2015.

Austria itself acquired 150,000 asylum purposes within the rapid wake of the disaster, based on Eurostat — roughly 1.7 per cent of the inhabitants of 8.7 million.

But the disaster appears to be abating now, with whole new arrivals within the Mediterranean properly beneath half of what they had been one yr in the past, says the UN Refugee Agency.

« We have lower numbers coming now, but for a moment which might come where you have more refugees coming in, you have to be ready, » Pehringer mentioned.

Pehringer additionally apologized on behalf of Kurz after the chancellor lately referred to as for « an axis of the willing against illegal migration » between Italy, Germany and Austria.

« He admitted maybe it would have been better to use the term ‘alliance’ instead of ‘axis’ because ‘axis’ might be historically loaded, » Pehringer mentioned. « But please do believe me, and do believe the chancellor, that the axis of very bad times in European history was not what the chancellor had in mind. He was talking about an alliance, a union between countries. »

Note: « Previously Published on: 2018-06-26 18:57:29, as ‘Austrian ambassador requires ‘joint concepts’ on defining migrants, refugees

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