Austria, Germany and Italy will form an ‘axis of the willing’ to combat illegal immigration and protect external borders of the European Union. This was announced during a joint press conference between German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Berlin on Wednesday.

“We believe that in order to achieve a real progress in the fight against illegal migration we need an axis of the willing and we are happy that with you as German Interior Minister we have a strong partner in this fight,” said Kurz.

The Austrian leader also noted that during Vienna’s presidency of the Council of the European Union they plan to strengthen the EU’s border agency Frontex, by providing it with more authorities “to fight against the traffickers, to cooperate with third countries and to prevent the boats from departing, from putting people’s lives at risk, and hitting the road.”

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