Austria’s new daily cap on asylum seekers entered into force Friday, in a move that the European Commission has described as “plainly incompatible” with European Union laws.
Since 8:00 a.m., a maximum of 80 migrants per day are being allowed to claim asylum in the country, police said.
In addition, Vienna is limiting the daily number of people transiting Austria to seek asylum in a neighboring country to 3,200.
Once the quotas have been reached, “the borders will be closed,” police spokesman Fritz Grundnig told AFP.
He added that due to bad weather, no migrant had arrived at the Austrian-Slovenian frontier since Thursday afternoon.
Vienna’s measures – announced earlier this week along with tougher controls at 12 checkpoints along its southern borders – drew an angry reaction from the EU on Thursday.
“Such a policy would be plainly incompatible with Austria’s obligations under European and international law,” European migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos complained in a letter to Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also criticized the proposal.
“As far as Austria is concerned I have to say I don’t like this decision, we are questioning whether it is within European law, and we will have a friendly discussion,” Juncker told a news conference.
But Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said there “will be no lifting of the decision,” speaking at a two-day EU summit.