By V4 Agency
France’s former foreign minister and the EU’s former chief Brexit negotiator says the country needs time to monitor and, if necessary, amend its migration-related procedures, arguing that – in order to achieve this – immigration to Europe should be suspended for some years. The country’s most popular right-wing politician shares the same opinion, suggesting tough new measures to curb illegal migration.
According to press reports, former French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, the EU’s former chief Brexit negotiator and a member of France’s The Republicans party, is to make a politican comeback and possibly even run as a contender against Emmanuel Macron during the 2022 presidential race. In a recent interview with RTL Mr Barnier expressed his opinion about French political decisions, saying he believes that concrete steps are needed to curb migration and its related risks that keep threatening Europe. He said he would introduce a moratorium on immigration in France for a duration of 3-5 years. Mr Barnier argued that France needed time to decide on migration-related procedures and practices, as well as their controls, which makes it necessary to halt immigration to France for a few years.
The politician stressed that there was a connection between immigration and the terrorist networks who exploit the influx of migrants in order to infiltrate the country, as evidenced by a number of recent investigations. He does not think that all immigrants are terrorists, he added, especially those who try to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea hoping for a better life.
Mr Barnier was of the opinion that certain aspects of the constitution need be amended, but he did not go into details. In response to a journalist’s question, however, he added that under his plans, France would continue to admit students from abroad and respect people’s right to asylum.
Covering the politician’s interview, the daily Le Parisien pointed out that the fight against migration has recently become a major theme in the French right wing’s political narrative. Last autumn, Christian Jacob, leader of The Republicans party, proposed a 3-6 months moratorium on immigration, while in a recent interview, National Rally chief Marine Le Pen stressed that she would suspend immigration and impose draconian measures on illegal migrants, if elected. Ms Le Pen said she intends to reduce the number of migrants France receives each year to 10 thousand.
Asked about how much his plans overlap the pledges made by Marine Le Pen, Mr Barnier noted that he needn’t borrow ideas regarding immigration from the National Rally’s chief, because he is fully aware of and understands the problems French people face, and he is also able to offer solutions.
Mr Barnier suggested that President Macron should consult all political parties on the issue, as France is on the brink of a “social explosion,” the term being a direct reference to two open letters recently addressed to President Macron and his ministers by France’s active servicemen and retired generals, who warned of the risk of a possible civil war. There are real, palpable fault lines that divide society, and most of this can be attributed to immigration, Mr Barnier has said.