Merkel and Kurz backs Juncker on stronger EU borders

Merkel and Kurz backs Juncker on stronger EU borders

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz welcomed plans by European Commission President Jean-Clause Juncker to bolster Frontex staff to 10,000 by 2020.

Although Merkel and Kurz have previously clashed on migration, Austria's chancellor acknowledged that Berlin had adopted a harder line, thanks in large part to German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

"There can be no open borders within Europe without proper protection of external EU borders. That's why it is so important to strengthen Frontex," Kurz said in remarks provided to the DPA news agency by his spokesman.  

Following the last formal EU leaders' summit in June, the Commission vowed to boost the bloc's border management agency Frontex, and establish migrant processing centers on the European periphery and in North Africa. Those proposals have yet to be translated into policy.

Kurz said he and Merkel agreed that "we have to work out the details of the turning point that we achieved" in June, DW reported.

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