The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 7 November 2023.
The UK and Austria have signed a statement today agreeing to closer cooperation on tackling illegal migration and terrorism.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman met with Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner in Vienna on 2 November to discuss the importance of partnership and international cooperation in the face of illegal migration, terrorism and transnational crime.
The ministers agreed to work hand-in-hand to ensure public security and signed a joint statement to commit to:
- exploring the principle of safe third country concepts to enhance regional migration management
- engaging in a joint dialogue on illegal migration, including with relevant third countries of origin and transit
- enhancing cooperation in combatting serious and organised crime by strengthening bilateral law enforcement and criminal justice links
- intensifying their cyber security dialogue with a focus on preventing online radicalisation
Speaking after the signing, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said:
The global migration crisis is the challenge of our age, with the UK and the European continent seeing huge movements of people travelling illegally across our borders. This is placing an unprecedented burden on our communities and public services.
Austria is a close ally in tackling illegal migration, and we have already begun sharing knowledge of our actions and strategies such as third country removals.
This joint statement is a commitment to work more closely together to achieve our aims, and enhance our cooperation on a wide range of security challenges.
Austrian Minister of Interior Gerhard Karner said:
The UK has a lot of experience when it comes to processing asylum applications outside of Europe in the future. That was an important theme in my meeting with the Home Secretary in Vienna because Austria can benefit from this experience.
We will continue to make a consistent effort for the EU commission to advance and enable such procedures outside of Europe.
Following her meeting with Minister Karner, the Home Secretary also spoke to Jewish community leaders at the city’s main synagogue, reaffirming the UK government’s solidarity with the Jewish community following recent incidents of abuse, in particular this week’s arson attack at Vienna’s Central Cemetery.
She visited the site of the 2020 Islamist terrorist attack, in which 4 civilians were killed, and laid a wreath to mark the anniversary. The Home Secretary also visited the Shoah Wall of Names memorial to pay her respects to Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
The visit concluded with a tour of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, to deepen ties on tackling fraud and organised immigration crime.