Press Advisories

4. 12. 2023 16:53

Prime Minister Fiala discusses illegal migration, transportation, and energy cooperation with Austrian Chancellor Nehammer

The delegations' meeting was traditionally preceded by a short meeting between Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, 4 December 2023.
The delegations' meeting was traditionally preceded by a short meeting between Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, 4 December 2023.
On Monday, 4 December, Prime Minister Petr Fiala met with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Vienna to discuss the current migration situation in Europe, EU enlargement, the war in Ukraine, and cooperation in transportation and energy. The Czech Prime Minister was also received by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and held discussions with representatives of the Austrian economic sector.

Both leaders agreed that Czech-Austrian relations are at their best. Our countries share a long history and culture, we have similar views on foreign and European policy challenges and we are interested in developing specific cooperation. One of the common challenges is the issue of illegal migration. "Our countries agree that the EU urgently needs to reform its migration policy. The current situation is unsustainable and we need to quickly find a common European solution. Our countries are calling for strengthening the security of the external Schengen border, faster expulsion procedures, and collaboration with third countries. We must deter illegal migrants from venturing into Europe and fight against smugglers and traffickers of human misery," the Prime Minister said.

The leaders also addressed the crucial topic of energy. They agreed on the need to strengthen the cross-border interconnection of the electricity grid between the Czech Republic and Austria, which is a prerequisite for achieving European decarbonisation targets. Prime Minister Fiala also commended the shared view of both countries on EU enlargement and the integration of the Western Balkan states. He emphasised that the Czech Republic would support the initiation of accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, as well as granting candidate status to Georgia during the December meeting of the European Council.

Prime Minister Fiala stressed that the Czech Republic aims to complete key motorways, including the D3 and D52 motorway connections to Austria, within 10 years. "The construction of the last two sections of the D3 motorway to the state border in Dolní Dvořiště will begin this year and next year. It will be completed within 3 years. Three sections around České Budějovice are currently under construction. The construction of the D52 motorway from Brno to Vienna will begin in three years and is expected to be completed by 2031," the Prime Minister added. Both leaders also discussed the Via Vindobona railway project connecting Berlin, Prague, and Vienna. Intensive preparations are underway on our side and it is now important to collaborate to secure European funding.

After concluding their discussions, both politicians visited the Federal Chancellery, where they lit a candle for the late Karel Schwarzenberg. The Czech Prime Minister was then received by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, with whom he discussed EU enlargement, the current situation in Israel and other international issues.

Austria is the 7th most important trading partner of the Czech Republic and also a major investor. Czech exports to Austria reached a record CZK 251 billion last year.

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