A new leader is making headlines in Europe. Sebastian Kurz, the youngest chancellor in Austrian history, burst onto the scene with an unusual combination of generally moderate politics and a strong stance on immigration.
Kurz is working hard to close his country’s borders to asylum seekers flooding Europe. He is invoking an European Union law that states that the country in which an asylum seeker first applies for asylum is responsible for that person. Since Austria is a landlocked country with EU member states on all sides, this would absolve Austria from taking in any asylum seekers they do not want to accept.
Kurz has also set his sights outside Austrian politics. Austria hosts the EU’s rotating presidency from July 1st- December 31st this year, and Kurz hopes to use this opportunity pass an European-wide solution to the crisis. His proposal would include refusing to allow refugees to land in Europe but would, instead, provide supplies for them in a third country outside the EU. Kurz has also been touted as the facilitator behind the Trump-Putin summit recently announced by the White House.
That summit is scheduled to take place in Helsinki on July 16.