Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselbourn has criticised Austrian proposals to create asylum centres outside of the European Union bloc.

"For me, the idea of renting an island outside the EU to dump refugees from Syria, Iraq or Libya is part of the right-wing mindset," Asselbourn told the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

He added that the EU should not be a "fortress of indifference" when "persecuted people knock on our door". The minister is known for his strong support of solidarity with migrants.

Last year, Austria announced an asylum claims cap of 37,500.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has so far resisted any upper limit on asylum claims, although this has been challenged by the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party. According to Asselbourn, "Merkel's 'welcome culture' was right."

His comments were in response to Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and the coalition government who are pushing to tighten the EU's migrant policy by only allowing asylum applications from outside EU borders.

There are also plans for a ceiling on migration. Social Democrat Hans Peter Doskozil told Bild newspaper that there needed to be a more structured and organised legal migration system in place for those entitled to asylum in the EU.

"It's about ending the failed European asylum policies. We must admit to ourselves and be honest that the EU has limited capacity to absorb more migrants. We must stop illegal immigration."

Doskozil wants the application process to instead take place in centres in North Africa and the Middle East, possibly run by the UN.

At a meeting of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) in February, Doskozil will formally present proposals "to promote the plan forcefully in Brussels", said his spokesman.

Anti-immigration fears are growing, evidenced by increased support for far-right political parties in Austria. In the Austrian presidential elections during December, Green Party's Alexander van der Bellen narrowly fended off the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) candidate Norbert Hofer by 54% to 46%.