President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Slovenian President Borut Pahor, and Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen (Photo: HRT) President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Slovenian President Borut Pahor, and Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen (Photo: HRT)

This year's trilateral summit was held as Austria takes over the EU’s rotating presidency, which brought migration to the top of the meeting’s agenda.

Slovenian PM Borut Pahor underscored that all three leaders remained proponents of join EU policy. Addressing migration, Pahor stressed he supported the recent conclusions of the European Council on the need to strengthen measures at the EU’s external borders.

Pahor said that if Austria decided to unilaterally increase security at its borders, Slovenia and Croatia would be forced to do the same along its frontiers. He warned unilateral measures on migration would threaten a joint EU policy and erode trust between member states. He said he saw no reason for Austria to go forward with the measures.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said they had discussed a number of issues related to the future of the European Union, the Austrian Presidency, EU enlargement and the Croatia’s plans for its first turn at the helm of the Council of the EU.

President Grabar-Kitarović said she supported the goals of the Austrian Presidency and the emphasis placed on migration challenges during today’s talks.

“When it comes to migration, Croatia continues to advocate a strategic approach to migration management based on the principles of humanity and responsibility. Control the external borders of the EU is important as is financial assistance for the states on the front lines of the migration problem,” she said.

She agreed with the Slovenian counterpart that there was no need for stronger reinforcement of the Schengen border nor other frontiers within the EU, adding that Croatia had full control of the border along its entire territory.

Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen said that peace beyond the EU borders was not a given, adding that member states had to do everything in their power to ensure that peace remained a given within the EU.