France’s former Foreign Minister Michel Barnier has criticized the European Union and the French government’s migration policy and called for a referendum on migration.
The former vice-president of the European People’s Party (EPP) said before the 2022 elections that the handling of immigration was out of French hands. He proposed that the country should suspend the admission of migrants from non-EU countries for three to five years.
In response to criticism that he had joined the populist wave he once despised, he said: “I was European before them and I will be European after them.”
Many critics of Barnier, a longstanding Eurocrat who led the European Commission’s negotiations on Brexit with the U.K. government, claim he has sensed which way the political wind is blowing and attempting to position himself as a palatable center-right option to attract voters away from the National Rally and Reconquête.
Barnier also criticized the European Court of Justice for reducing the powers of member states to defend their borders. He said it was a serious problem that neither the constitution of France nor that of other European countries had anything to say about regulating migration, and that for 30-40 years these constitutions had been interpreted in a way that favored immigrants.
As a solution, he suggests rewriting the EU treaties.