Minister outlines how EU migration policies must change

Migration policy – European refugee agency – Reply by M. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the Senate

Paris, 26 June 2018

We can’t hide from the fact that Europe is at a crossroads. Everything that has been patiently and laboriously built over decades can be undone in a few months or a few years. Brexit shows the disintegration can sometimes be very fast.

The European Union is currently having its solidity and sovereignty tested, in relation to both its trade and its migration policy. So we must provide responses collectively, based on simple principles, namely responsibility and solidarity.

A package of measures must be taken. First of all, cooperation with countries of origin and transit should be improved. From this point of view, France has made strong commitments under the President’s leadership, because it’s about increasing our official development assistance, which should reach 0.55% of our gross national income. The Prime Minister also talked about the Alliance for the Sahel this very morning with his Malian counterpart.

We must then prevent some asylum seekers who have a legitimate right of asylum from having to make that deadly crossing. That’s the very purpose of the OFPRA [French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons] missions deployed in a number of countries, particularly Libya, Chad and Niger. They identify people who have inalienable rights in this area.

Moreover, it’s necessary to strengthen the European Union’s capabilities for protecting the external borders. Frontex’s staffing must therefore be increased from 1,200 to 10,000 people.

So there’s a wide range of solutions. The creation of a European asylum agency, which you’ve just mentioned, is an idea strongly supported by France and Germany. It will be the focus of discussions to be held in the coming days./.

Published on 11/07/2018

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