2 October is Indonesia's National Batik Day. The EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Vincent Guérend, the EU Ambassador to ASEAN Francisco Fontan as well as staff of both the EU Delegation to Indonesia and the EU Mission to ASEAN, celebrated this special day by wearing batik.
2 Oktober merupakan Hari Batik Nasional untuk Indonesia. Duta Besar Uni Eropa untuk Indonesia dan Brunei Vincent Guérend, Duta Besar Uni Eropa untuk ASEAN Francisco Fontan beserta staf dari Delegasi Uni Eropa untuk Indonesia serta Misi Uni Eropa untuk ASEAN turut merayakan hari istimewa ini dengan mengenakan batik.
In 2015, Austria was confronted with an unprecedented flow of asylum seekers and refugees, especially along the Western Balkans route. Since this challenged our capabilities, Austria called for EU action, including CSDP measures, as early as September 2015. A few EU measures have since been taken, but more should follow. Additionally, CSDP measures have exclusively focused on the central Mediterranean route.
After accepting more than 100 000 asylum seekers in 2015, and more than one million refugees crossing Austrian territory, we were forced to adopt national measures in 2016 to slow down the flow of refugees. With the help of partner countries in the Western Balkans, it was possible to close the Western Balkans route on 9 March 2016. At the same time, the EU brokered an agreement with Turkey to prevent refugees from entering the EU from Turkey via the Greek islands, as well as to stop networks of smugglers from exploiting refugees desperate to get to Europe.
Both measures resulted in a significant decrease of refugees arriving in Europe, but the crisis is not over yet. Therefore, Austria would still like to see more measures implemented. Specifically, a civil-military mechanism at EU level, ideally supported by all Member States, should be established to deal with rapid changes in the numbers of refugees arriving in Europe. Assistance should be available to EU Member States, as well as to immediate neighbours. Additionally, the EU should support bilateral and regional measures in order to nurture the population’s sense of security.
The 33rd session of the Human Rights Council ("HRC33") concluded today in Geneva, after three weeks of intense work. Active across the board, the European Union participated in plenary debates as well as interactive dialogues and other fora. The EU successfully led a resolution establishing a Commission of Inquiry on Burundi to conduct thorough investigations into human rights violations in the country, contributing towards full accountability for these acts.