THE new Austrian Government will “set the agenda for the future of Europe” amid concerns in Brussels over the country’s political direction.
By OLI SMITH
Sat, Dec 23, 2017
The new Austrian government will set the political agenda for the European Union, as its coalition leaders look to change how Europe is run.
Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz struck a controversial coalition deal with the far-right Freedom Party to form a new Government.
In return, the Freedom Party were given top cabinet posts and control over the Interior, Defense and Foreign Ministries.
The new coalition leaders will not seek to leave the EU, but instead seek to change how the bloc is run, according to political analyst Thomas Hofer.
Mr Hofer told the BBC: “The Freedom Party will set the agenda across Europe, not just in Austria.
“There are people inside the party who are very radical, but their policies are becoming mainstream.
“Issues-wise, as a party, they haven’t changed. It is Europe and Austria that has changed.
“They brought up a lot of issues which were unutterable back then, and are now pretty mainstream all over Europe.”
Austria has also revealed that they plan to hold an EU summit next year, to push a tougher anti-immigration line on the wider European stage.
The new government has not wasted time in confronting other European powers.
The coalition has also pledged to resist EU centralisation and “take back control” top-down orders from Brussels, according to Mr Hofer.
Last weekend, Mr Kurz, who has insisted on his pro-EU position, described his coalition as one which wants to “actively shape Europe”.