French right-wing candidate opposes EU Migration Pact


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The French right-wing candidate Francois-Xavier Bellamy voiced his opposition to the recently-approved European Migration Pact less than two months before the EU elections

“We are opposed to the majority of this asylum and migration pact, because we are here at a border where we can see the helplessness of our countries when it comes to the migration crisis,” the member of the centre-right European People’s Party said on Friday. “The asylum and migration pact does not allow us to provide a solution to better protect our borders.”

Bellamy announced his stance in the French city of Menton, which borders Italy. The city has become a flashpoint of the migration debate which has sparked multiple diplomatic rows between both countries.

Bellamy aims to meet with French border police and reaffirm his party’s opposition to the EU Migration Pact. The pact aims to speed up the asylum process and simplify the return of irregular migrants to their home countries. It will require member states to share responsibility for asylum seekers, either by taking in more migrants or by providing extra funding.

In the meantime, activists that work toward the protection of migrants have said the recently-approved pact will be detrimental. 

“It’s going to make their passage and their lives a lot harder. You can’t stop a flow of desperate people like that. One way or another, they’ll either find a way through or die trying,” Gibi Bonnet, member of the NGO Roya Citoyenne, said. 

According to French local authorities, 44,000 arrests were made in 2023 at this border crossing.

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