Michel Barnier, a convinced European?

Paris, 10th of September 2021

Michel Barnier's recent proposals on immigration would mean no longer adhering to the decisions of the ECHR - European Court of Human Rights - and the ECJ - European Court of Justice. Such a policy not only goes against the fundamental principles of European construction, it would above all lead to the progressive disintegration of the EU. Volt France deplores the fact that Mr Barnier is turning his back on the European values he has always defended in an attempt to validate his candidacy within the ranks of his party.

Michel Barnier, does he want to leave the EU?

This is the question we must ask ourselves. Because we cannot choose Europe when it suits us and deny it when it does not. We work together across borders and across issues - or not. If Europe means benefiting from the solidarity of other countries during the Covid pandemic, Europe does not mean hiding from our responsibilities in the face of other challenges such as migration.

Of course, the EU is not perfect. But it needs to be improved rather than destabilising the pillars on which it is built. Having led the Brexit negotiations on behalf of the EU, Michel Barnier now seems to be copying a page from that history, promising a referendum to appease party members without considering the implications. Europe deserves better. And France deserves better.

Volt France therefore supports European institutions such as the ECHR and the CJEU and also emphasizes its commitment to the independence of these courts, which are essential to the preservation of democracy in Europe. In several member states, such as Poland, the decisions of European courts are increasingly contested and the rule of law is being threatened. France must not follow in these footsteps, but on the contrary - reinforce our institutions fundamental role.

Volt calls for reform of the migration system

Volt is present in all European countries and has a common programme (the Amsterdam Declaration) and common policy body (the Mapping of Policies). We propose pan-European solutions instead of calling for referendums:

> Managing refugee flows from outside the EU, through the establishment of a European refugee management system. The Dublin Convention must be reformed and complemented by a system of regulations that provide for penalties and sanctions against states that refuse to fulfil their responsibilities.

> Make the asylum system fair, efficient and swift, by issuing EU guidelines that ensure shorter and coordinated asylum procedures and that provide for social, legal and psychological support. 

> Ensure successful integration that benefits the economy. Asylum seekers should be able to enter the labour market from day one, and their skills should be more easily recognised. In addition, language training should be offered to all asylum seekers.

> Enforce the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, by monitoring and sanctioning Member States that violate these rights, for example by detaining asylum seekers unnecessarily and in inhumane conditions.

> Protect those in need, by classifying starving migrants and climate migrants as refugees under EU law and strengthening the use of humanitarian corridors.

Contact Press

Eric Galéra - Responsible Media Relations Volt France
Mail : eric.galera@volteuropa.org

Charlotte Barsky - Co-Responsible Communication Volt France 
Mail : charlotte.barsky@volteuropa.org 

About Volt France

Volt France is the French chapter of the pan-European political movement Volt Europa, founded in March 2017 and present in all EU countries. In 2019, it garnered over half a million votes across the continent in the European elections and won its first seat in the European Parliament. Since then, its candidates have been elected to various municipal bodies in several countries. Volt wants to tackle pressing issues such as climate change, social inequality and economic crises through a more democratic and unified Europe.