Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Joint Statement between UK and Austria [May 2024]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 21 May 2024.

Today [Tuesday 21 May] Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to his counterpart Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Austria on tackling illegal migration.

The leaders agreed that it must be the governments deciding who enters our countries, not criminal gangs, and stronger action must be taken to end the vile people smuggling trade.

The leaders committed to implementing stronger frameworks to deal with migration, and that new innovative solutions are crucial to this end.

The leaders agreed that working with designated safe third countries are part of the solution for best protecting Europe from irregular migratory pressures and preventing people from making illegal, dangerous journeys – such as the Rwanda style model.

In that respect, the Leaders agreed that States may develop and implement solutions to securing their borders and dealing with challenges like migration, while maintaining full compatibility with international law. They welcomed the new procedures relating to Rule 39 interim measures adopted by the European Court of Human Rights, following consultations with State parties. As already noted in the Izmir Declaration in 2011, it is essential, when examining cases related to asylum and immigration, to assess and take full account of the effectiveness of domestic procedures and, where these procedures are seen to operate fairly and with respect for human rights, that the Court should avoid intervening except in the most exceptional circumstances.

The leaders are acutely aware of dangers of the efforts other actors will take in instrumentalising migrants to destabilise Europe and agreed more needed to be done to secure our borders and strengthen our security.

Both think the answers lay with deeper partnerships with others, and increasing cooperation with countries involved in all stages of the migrant journey was essential to tackling this growing pan-European challenge.