Originally published at: https://www.oann.com/macron-says-migration-crises-show-need-to-strengthen-eus-borders/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=macron-says-migration-crises-show-need-to-strengthen-eus-borders

December 9, 2021

PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that reinforcing the European Union’s sovereignty, and notably its borders, would be France’s main priority during its presidency of the bloc, which starts on Jan.1.

France takes on the rotating six-month presidency as Belarus stands accused of engineering a refugee crisis by flying migrants in the Middle East and pushing them to attempt to illegally cross its borders into EU states Poland and Lithuania.

The bloc has been deeply divided for years in its response to immigration and how to police the common external borders of its Schengen area.

“I would say that we must move from a Europe of cooperation within our borders to a Europe that is powerful in the world, fully sovereign, free in its choices and master of its destiny,” Macron told a news conference at which he presented France’s priority for its EU presidency.

Among France’s proposals will be setting up an emergency reaction capability to help EU states facing crises at their borders, Macron said.

He also wants the bloc to have regular political meetings on migration – like euro zone states already do on economic matters.

Macron faces a presidential election in April, and conservative and far-right parties are likely to make migration, on which he is viewed by some as a soft touch, a campaign issue.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Michel Rose; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by John Stonestreet)