Udo Bullmann to Sebastian Kurz: Don’t let the xenophobes and populists of FPÖ divide our Europe!

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Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on the start of the Austrian EU Presidency, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann, said:
 
“Presiding over the European Council is an honour and a big responsibility - we call on the Austrian Government to live up to that.
 
“The Austrian Government has to make the unity of Europe and the wellbeing of the European people a priority of its EU Presidency.
 
“Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz will have to prove that he is not only claiming to be pro-European but that he actually is. He must not allow his right-wing coalition partner of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) - which forms a political group in the EP with anti-Europeans such as Marine Le Pen - to undermine our unity.
 
“Mr. Kurz, our two countries have seen the dark moments in history and we know where this can lead to. Populists and xenophobe forces spread the politics of fear and disintegration. We must promote the politics of hope for the people in Europe!
 
“Chancellor Kurz has to show that he has more to offer than catering to populist tastes by playing military games at a border. And, we make it very clear to Mr. Kurz - armed forces at the borders within Europe is unacceptable.
 
“Austria is taking over the EU Presidency at a very delicate point in time: In the context of the heated debate on migration, our core European values of solidarity and responsibility have been questioned, as well as the freedom of movement in the Schengen area. Additionally, we have the Brexit negotiations and the next Multiannual Financial Framework on our agenda, which will both shape the EU for years to come. At the same time, we are facing complex international challenges with US-President, Donald Trump, having withdrawn from core international treaties and even questioning NATO.
 
“Our unity and ability to act have never been so important - and it is up to the Austrian Government and their EU Presidency to ensure both.”