Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says he's positioning his country as a bridge between the "Visegrad group" of eastern European nations and their western counterparts.

Kurz said he agreed with the Visegrad countries — Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — that a quota system for migrants was unworkable and on the need to strengthen external borders.

Speaking alongside Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday, Kurz said that "it's in all of our interests that we work together."

Orban says Europe's border-free travel zone can only work with "radical" external border protections like the fence he had constructed.

He says: "what's happening today is they want to open the external borders and close the internal ones, this is the exact opposite."