The European Parliament’s leftist majority continued to downplay the security risks brought by the mass influx of illegal migration during Wednesday’s key plenary debate on the Migration Pact in Strasbourg (October 4th), with some going as far as laughing when conservatives presented Europe’s worsening crime statistics.
Reaching an agreement on the EU’s flagship Asylum and Migration Pact is without doubt currently the highest priority on Brussels’ agenda as all institutions are racing to get it done in the next few months or risk losing grip of it altogether amid next year’s European elections.
But despite this urgency, Wednesday’s plenary debate on the Pact led nowhere as MEPs from both sides accused each other of using the crisis only for political gains amid pleas from the Commission to find common ground so that the EU can finalize the package by the end of the year.
In the end, there was very little talk about any implementation of the Migration Pact—much less a “speedy” one, as the title of the debate indicated. Leftist MEPs instead resorted to little more than pointless name-calling, some even branding anyone in the chamber who spoke out against illegal migration as “far-right fear mongers” who deploy “Nazi terminology.”
In fact, conservative MEPs—who believe that the Pact would only make the crisis worse by failing to protect external borders and forcing member states to participate in the compulsory relocation scheme—mostly just focused on three things: preventing more deaths at sea, upholding the free movement within the Schengen Area, and protecting European citizens from criminal gangs by simply externalizing border procedures and taking away the incentives that facilitate illegal entries.
“Shame on you”
Talking about Europe’s worsening crime situation, however, was met with disbelief and even ridicule in the plenary chamber. “Are you even aware of what’s going on in Sweden?” MEP Charlie Weimers (ECR) asked his colleagues after an hour of speeches calling for open borders and more humane treatments for asylum seekers.
“Ordinary men and women face the consequences of a migration policy that spawned the monster that is gang violence. Where’s your pact for the 25-year-old girl blown up by gangsters or the 71-year-old shot in the pub while having a pint?” Weimers continued, adding that the Commission’s job is not to side with the Left but to deal with illegal migration and turn back the boats, “otherwise the ‘low-intensity war’ on the Swedish streets—as the police call it—will only worsen.”
That was the point when several leftist members began audibly snickering, forcing Weimers to interrupt his speech and turn to them:
You laugh at seventeen innocent victims shot to death, bombed to death in Sweden?! Shame on you! … This will become a reality in your countries as well!
The reality is that the Left doesn’t care about these murders, Estonian MEP Jaak Madison (ID) said while taking the podium directly after. “You are selfish, overpaid bureaucrats who have tried to force your migration policy on us for the last four years and you have failed,” Madison said, directly addressing his leftist colleagues.
You’re talking about free open borders, but where’s the limit? The sky’s the limit? How much does it cost? What about security on the streets? Are you also ready to send your kids alone to play outside, like we can in Poland or Estonia? No! And that’s your fault.”
Others also joined in to argue for public safety. Patryk Jaki (ECR) pointed out, for instance, that every second crime in Spain is committed by a foreigner, and every fifth perpetrator is from Africa. Later, Balázs Hidvéghi, an independent MEP from Hungary, added that Sweden is now considering involving the army because the police are not enough to deal with the gang situation.
“Just to be clear, migration is destroying our European way of life, it creates insecurity for our citizens and it must be stopped,” Hidvéghi went on.
Some of you may be multiculturalism maniacs despite all the clear evidence against it, but that’s your problem. We’re never going to let that happen to our countries. We Central Europeans did not join the EU to endanger our freedom of movement, our culture, and the security of our citizens. We’re going to defend our way of life, and we’re going to protect our countries, our people, and our culture.”
Currently, all individual files within the Migration Pact are already in the trilogue negotiations phase except the crisis regulation that’s still being blocked by Germany, the Netherlands, and a few other member states. But even if it gets cleared by a qualified majority in the Council, the entire Pact would still need a unanimous endorsement by all member states—something that’s unlikely to happen as Poland and Hungary continue to veto it as long as the compulsory relocation scheme is a part of it.