Wednesday September 15, 2021
Against common EU strategy
Barnier wants France to stop migrating
So far, such demands have mainly come from Eastern Europe. But now a French candidate for the presidency has declared that France wants to decide on its own migration policy. Explosive: Barnier is the Brussels architect of the Brexit and argues precisely with this danger for the EU.
The ex-Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who is fighting for the presidency in France, is sticking to the idea of a French going it alone on migration issues despite criticism. Barnier told the weekly “Le Point” that he was in favor of a referendum in France in September next year on the subject and in favor of a constitutional protective shield in order to be able to take national measures. It is about a moratorium of three to five years to bring migration under control. First of all, a consensus should be reached in France and then discussed with the European partners about effectively securing the external borders, said Barnier. The Schengen Agreement, which abolished controls at the EU’s internal borders, should also be reformed.
Barnier warned against imitators after Great Britain left the EU. “I say, watch out, if you think that nothing has to change, that everything is going well in Brussels, that it’s normal business, then you risk other Brexits elsewhere, and I don’t want to take that risk.” With the demand for a restriction of the influence of European courts on migration issues, Barnier had received sharp criticism from Brussels the previous week. The EU Commission pointed out that the EU treaties clearly show that the European Court of Justice has jurisdiction in the field of asylum and migration policy.
Barnier’s statement is explosive against the background that European courts have for years been exposed to attacks from states such as Poland and Hungary, which question their authority. Barnier announced at the end of August that he wanted to be the top candidate for the French Conservatives for the presidential election. But he still has several competitors within the party.
Von der Leyen: Little progress on asylum policy
Only in the morning had EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen criticized the lack of progress in European asylum and migration policy. The EU Commission presented a proposal for a balanced and humane system in September 2020. Since then, “we have made painfully slow progress for a year,” said von der Leyen in her address on the State of the European Union in the European Parliament.
Von der Leyen referred to the situation on the border between Belarus and the EU countries Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. The three countries accuse the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of bringing refugees from crisis regions to the EU’s external border in an organized manner. Von der Leyen spoke of a “hybrid attack to destabilize Europe”. This is not a single event. As long as the EU cannot find a common basis on how to manage migration, opponents would take advantage of this. The EU states have been arguing for years about reforming their common asylum and migration policy – above all about whether and how migrants should be distributed across all countries.