Austria's new chancellor in Brussels

During his visit to Brussels Austria's new Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stressed that his right-wing conservative coalition government would steer a pro-European course. Commentators take a predominantly positive view of the meeting between Kurz and EU Commission President Juncker.

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Kurier (AT) /

A reassuring message for Europe

Austria's new right-wing conservative government is making an effort to assure Europe that it will remain firmly in the European fold, Kurier comments:

“With his visit to Brussels on his first day in office the new chancellor is showing that even after the election he is leaving nothing to chance. After all he must allay the fears of the EU leaders, who are worried, not entirely without reason, by the fact that a particularly Eurosceptical party which disagrees with a good number of EU policies (for example the sanctions against Russia) now forms part of the Austrian government. Also encouraging is the fact that Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl will make her first official visit to Slovakia, and not to the controversial Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán.”

Il Sole 24 Ore (IT) /

Why Vienna is being handled with kid gloves

The EU is taking a wait-and-see approach vis-à-vis Vienna because it has enough on its hands with another problem child right now, Il Sole 24 Ore points out:

“A second case like Poland is to be avoided. That was the EU Commission's goal yesterday when it received the new Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. True, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's entourage has let it be known that the meeting also served to warn Kurz against a shift to the right. Consequently the opportunity was not missed to point out the closeness - at least in terms of time - between the meeting with Kurz and the historic disciplinary proceedings against Poland which are expected for today. Notwithstanding: no one in Brussels is demanding that a tough line should be taken regarding Vienna right now. Also out of the fear that doing so would give other anti-system parties in Europe a boost.”