The French candidate for the presidency of the Republican Party, Michel Barnier, this Thursday reaffirmed his propensity to “evaluate” and “change” immigration policy in the European country in order to avoid “the collapse” of French society, which is the “current situation” be to avoid.
“There is an immigration policy in France, and indeed in Europe too, which you can see that it is not working,” said the former EU negotiator for Brexit, emphasizing that “since it does not work it needs to be assessed, you have to change it. “
In an interview with Europa Press, however, he made it clear that any changes must be different from the “solutions” proposed by the far-right parties.
Barnier had already proposed a five-year “moratorium” to close the French border on migration and promised a referendum on immigration policy if he wins the 2022 elections.
The “moratorium”, as he explained to this medium, should serve “to evaluate the procedures, to evaluate how they can be changed” and to “work together” with countries like Spain, Italy or Germany with the aim of a “common European policy “. and also “control from the French borders.
The former EU negotiator claims France needs to “regain its legal sovereignty,” an idea it believes is “important” and which it has already shown in an electoral law for the Republican primaries stressing that it is the goal to “no longer be subject”. on the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union or the European Court of Human Rights “.
The European Commission later reminded Barnier of the primacy of Community law and, without providing direct replies, stressed that competences on migration issues are shared between the EU and national governments, but that the Commission does not “set” migration quotas because this is a matter only for member countries.
The French politician insisted strongly during the UK and EU divorce proceedings that London must take over the powers of the EU Court of Justice, but since returning to French politics, he has hardened his speech on migration and sovereignty nationally.
In any case, Barnier will have to undergo internal primaries in November to win the presidential nomination, a process in which he will already meet current President of the Paris region Ile-de-France, Valérie Précresse, or ex-MEP Philippe. Juvin, among other things. “I am indeed a candidate and I have the will to convince my compatriots and my co-religionists first,” he said.
Barnier, on the other hand, has shown his “real concern” about the UK’s breach of the Brexit agreements negotiated “line by line, word for word, I would say it was a comma”.
“Now they are going back and wasting their word,” he complained before calling on Boris Johnson’s government as a politician because he was no longer speaking on behalf of the EU to “respect the signature and what has been decided”. .
In his opinion, it is about “trust and, in this case, loss of trust”. The former European negotiator has referred to the “many common challenges” that are not part of the agreement, including the fight against terrorism, climate change and poverty in Africa “which gives wings to illegal immigration”. “All of these interrelated issues I think deserve to be regained,” he added.
During his visit to Spain, Barnier gave the XI Carlos de Antwerp Commemorative Lecture, a conference that focused closely on the lessons of Brexit. In his speech, the French politician congratulated himself on the “big project” that the EU was and stressed how “painful” the divorce process was, which led him to write a book recently published in Spain, which was his “diary” during of negotiations.
In this context and in relation to the negotiation process, he highlighted two features, transparency and unity. Regarding transparency, he said that it had been decided to “say everything, all topics at the same time”, for which a group of Brexit delegates with the authority of the ambassadors was formed. “I said the same thing to the German Chancellor as I said to the Maltese Prime Minister, and that’s how trust was built,” he said.
Regarding unity – “something the British did not understand” – Barnier emphasized that “every time one country has a particular concern it is imperative that it be the other 26”. “The problems of each country became the problem of everyone,” lobbied before listing issues such as fisheries that directly affected eight countries, including Spain, and an area that received support from the rest of the members.
“We must continue to be vigilant in the application of these agreements,” summed up the former European negotiator, who has called on people to “react and understand” aspects such as anger and social anger in order to avoid future divorce proceedings for other members of the bloc. “If we don’t make the necessary changes, different situations may arise in other places. It’s too late for the British, but not for us,” he added.