FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2017 file photo Austrian President Alexander Van Der Bellen, new Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and new Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, from left, arrive for the swearing-in ceremony of the new Austrian government led by a conservative and a nationalist party in Vienna, Austria. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, file)

Austrian leader calls for EU to shrink its executive branch

June 05, 2018 - 4:39 am

BERLIN (AP) — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is urging the European Union to cut management costs as Vienna prepares to take over the bloc's rotating presidency next month.

Austria is one country that has opposed a bigger EU budget. Brussels wants agreement on a 2021-2027 spending package before European Parliament elections next May.

Kurz was quoted Tuesday as telling German newspaper Die Welt that Brussels should set "a good example and cut administrative costs." He suggested that the EU's executive Commission should be cut from 28 to 18 members, "based on a fair rotation principle," to make the body more effective.

Kurz also advocated scrapping one of the European Parliament's but conceded that France is unlikely to willingly give up Strasbourg as one of the co-headquarters alongside Brussels.

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