VIENNA – New Europe minister flatters France

After the Austrian Greens joined Chancellor Kurz’s ÖVP to form his second coalition, the new Europe Minister, Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP), visited her French counterpart Amélie de Montchalin in Paris on Thursday (9 January).

While Edstadler made it clear that “nothing goes” without France when it comes to European matters, de Montchalin seemed visibly pleased with Austria’s new pro-European conservative-green coalition, noting that dealing with Austria had been “a bit complicated” when the eurosceptic FPÖ was in coalition. 

Edstadler’s flattering move seems to be well-advised if Austria wants to see progress on one of its biggest goals in foreign policy: the accession of Balkan countries to the EU. It shouldn’t be forgotten that France was the country that prevented the opening of accession talks with Montenegro and Albania last year.

(Philipp Grüll |

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