Austria's far-right Interior Minister Herbert Kickl used a meeting of his EU counterparts in Vienna Friday to suggest processing migrants on board rescue ships in the Mediterranean, rather than on land.
During a press conference with his far-right Italian counterpart Matteo Salvini, Kickl said his suggestion would be for "those arriving on a boat in the territorial waters of an EU state".
While not providing any more detail, Kickl said he envisaged a "quick way to clarify which migrants are entitled to claim asylum"; they would then be brought to the EU while the others would be returned to "safe ports" in third countries.
Kickl said this would help solve what he called the "problem of repatriation".
"Once people have set foot on the continent, you can only remove them with great difficulty and much expense," he said.