Barnier’s Unprecedented Call for Suspending Non-EU Immigration to France Warrants Dwelling Upon

Barnier’s Unprecedented Call for Suspending Non-EU Immigration to France Warrants Dwelling Upon

Michel Barnier, a very high-profile EU and French politician, until recently the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, among others, has called for a 3-to-5 year ban of all non-EU immigration to France, a truly unprecedented proposal for a moderate, mainstream political figure of his caliber.

Precisely because of his high profile, Barnier’s comments on immigration are really remarkable, and their significance is worth pondering over, beyond the rationale of his potential run for President of France in 2022, thus trying to take voters away from far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Because focusing explicitly on the later would make it easy to miss anything objectively reasonable behind his words. Especially considering that any such statements are breaking a Global(ist) Era taboo for moderate, non-far-right(or left) Western European politicians, in which practically unbridled non-European immigration to the West is a sacred axiom, whose expediency or reasoning is never to be questioned.

The former EU Commissioner, former Brexit negotiator, and former French Foreign Minister, often described as a moderate Gaullist, declared that immigration was “not working”, that there were “links” between immigration and “terrorist networks that infiltrate migrational flows”, and that the EU’s external frontier had become a “sieve”.

Reports on his comments remind that Barnier has previously warned France could follow the UK and exit the European Union because “social unrest and anger” caused by immigration and the EU’s failure to defend its borders. Notably, Barnier did not criticize the EU’s movement of people, i.e. intra-EU migration.

Barnier’s comments before public broadcaster France 2 (cited in English here and here), go as follows,

“I think that effectively we need to take some time, between three to five years, and suspend immigration

“I’m not talking about students, I’m not talking about refugees who must be treated with humanity and strength. But we need to rebuild the whole process.”

“The problems of immigration are not moderate…We need to talk to our neighbours about the Schengen Agreement, we possibly need to put in stricter border controls.”

“I know, as the politician that I am, to see the problems how they are and how French people experience them and to find solutions.”

I don’t think I’ve heard any Western and/or European politician of such caliber and credentials, who isn’t labeled “far-right” deservedly or not, to make such bold and categorical statements on immigration. And to do so in an increasingly predetermined hostile environment in many mainstream media and (anti-)social media at risk of being “canceled” by online mobs for daring to exercise the once unconditional democratic freedom of thought and speech.

The closest such remarkable statement was that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2010 admission that Germany’s own version of multiculturalism, the multi-kulti, had “utterly failed/gone broken”. However, instead of figuring out ways to fix whatever she thought had gone wrong or broken, Merkel somehow followed up on that in 2015 with the unprecedented further opening of Germany, and by extension, the European Union’s borders, to millions more migrants from the Greater Middle East.

When considering Michel Barnier’s new comments on immigration, a quick look back at his public service record to date is in order:

French deputy (National Assembly member), 1978-1993

Minister of Environment of France, 1995-1995

Minister of EU Affairs of France, 1995-1997

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, 1999-2004

Foreign Minister of France, 2004-2005

Agriculture Minister of France, 2007-2009

EU Commissioner for Internal Market, 2010-2014

EU Chief Brexit Negotiator, 2016-2019

Head of EU’s UK Task Force 2019-2021

I met and interviewed Michel Barnier back in 2010 in his capacity as EU Internal Market Commissioner. I’ve interviewed hundreds of high-caliber political and business figures in person, and the people I’ve ever praised in my political commentaries could probably be counted on one hand. Rarely have I been as impressed by an interviewee as I was by Michel Barnier. (Perhaps the few people that compare include today’s IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva and Israeli politician Michael Bar-Zohar, the author of “Beyond Hitler’s Grasp” – although I didn’t interview later but managed to bring him as a guest speaker to my college in the US back in 2004).

Furthermore, Barnier’s unequivocally dignified, cool, and honest standing and behavior in his Brexit negotiations with the British and his categorical defense of EU citizens’ interests in such a tricky matter have been even more impressive.

So the person now making such categorical comments about suspending non-EU immigration to France for a period of 3-5 years is a top-notch EU and French politician (and not, say, some dirtbag freelance journalist from a marginal post-communist EU member state).

Mainstream media coverage of Barnier’s unprecedented call for suspending immigration has skipped over its substance, namely, that in its current form, which has been dominant for decades in the EU/Western Europe, immigration presents or contains severe issues.

Those range from partial or total integration failure, marginalization, encapsulation, segregation, self-segregation, labor and criminal exploitation, and exploitation for political benefits (not only by the far right but also by the liberal left) – all the way to feeding human trafficking and other organized crime, and boosting EU self-defeatism by empowering hostile foreign great power dictators and radical Islamist terrorists (with both of the latter types clearly desiring the destruction of the European Union and everything it stands for). And that’s not even getting into “brain drain”, “integration hypocrisy” and a frequent doom to second-rate status, the transferring of pre-modern tribal customs such as female genital mutilation onto 21st-century post-modern EU soil, the European nations’ right to preserve their own national identities and cultures, or complacent, avaricious globalist big business elites treating humans and human communities and societies solely as corporate production profit-making units, and nothing more. And that’s not even mentioning the needless disputes among EU member states, or the highly controversial debate of Europe’s “colonial guilt” complex encouraged by certain groups, in whose narrative Europeans are the victimizers of the rest of the world – never mind that two-thirds of Europe were actually victimized by non-European forces for many centuries – from the Early Middle Ages to the rolling-Soviet-tanks 20th century Cold War.

Thus, English-language media outlets reporting on Barnier’s comments have focused on his potential 2022 run for the French Presidency, which isn’t even official, rather than on the comments’ substance.

The supposedly right-wing Telegraph calls them “a pitch to lead the centre-Right Republicains into next year’s presidential elections” and “aimed at sapping support from rival candidate Marine Le Pen.”

“Mr Barnier is understood to have his eye on becoming the candidate for centre-right party The Republicans,” the supposedly left-wing Independent writes in turn.

Such interpretations obscure the substance of Barnier’s comments, as though running for political office could be the only reason in the world why a top-notch European politician of his caliber could take a critical look at a crucial political topic such as immigration.

What Michel Barnier apparently has had the dignity to state openly by breaking a major European political taboo is that non-EU immigration to the EU (or least to its desired richer Western part) in its present form is riddled with problems of various sorts. Not only aren’t these problems being address at present but the continuing migration bears the potential to exacerbate them further without any reasonable, honest, and responsible solutions and policies.

His words seems like a hint or a suggestion that paradigm shifts are in order, and so are critical thinking, freedom of thought and freedom of speech which the Old West once used to cherish, and whose manifestations today deserve breaking news status in the age of self-proclaimed multiculturalism, identity politics, political correctness, and cancel culture.

The great irony for the European Union in the age of omnipotent “identity politics” – itself stemming from the mind-boggling and ever worsening “culture wars” in the United States of America – is that it is practically impossible to formulate and then promote a truly coherent EU identity, an asset which would have strengthened the Union tremendously and improved great deal its image, its legitimacy, and the lives of EU citizens.

Defining a clear-cut EU/European identity nowadays is bound to “offend” all kinds of people, according to the assumption of the dominant political correctness narrative. Sure, an EU identity could be defined within the permitted politically correct limits but it would hardly have the same substance and positive impact in that form. But the fact of the matter remains that the lack of clearly defined EU identity is leaving hundreds of millions of Europeans hanging and reducing the European Union to a primarily administrative, soulless construct.

I’ve argued before that the far right typically rises as a reaction, and not because some people are inherently evil and hating others is their raison d’être. At present, the dominant narrative of the Western political establishment of political correctness, identity politics and multiculturalism seems to have swung the pendulum too far towards itself, and is constantly feeding the far right in its various forms. The potential for intra-Western violent conflicts on a different scale on these grounds is growing by the day. True, the growth of the far right is having its up and downs, but overall it is spiraling out of control slowly but steadily, including as more and more common people who may have feared cancel culture ostracism are breaking the taboos on their own once they decide they have nothing to lose.

It is noteworthy that Michel Barnier’s comments about suspending non-EU immigration for a lengthy period of time come against the backdrop of the two recently released letters by French military commanders and active military members warning of a towering danger of radical Islamism and the threat of a civil war. These public letters have, quite expectedly, been angrily and easily dismissed as ill-minded “far-right” ramblings by the rose-colored glasses-wearing political establishment in France and elsewhere in the West, with little substantial debate of their reasoning.

Fortunately, a dignified politician with a distinguished public service record of serving the people of France and Europe such as Michel Barnier cannot be dismissed as “far-right”. Nor should be his warnings. It is going to take a lot more Barniers and a lot more honesty and courage to tackle the politically incorrect issues surrounding EU immigration in its current form. That must doubtlessly be done prevent the pendulum from swinging all the way back to the other extreme. That pendulum must be anchored in the common-sense middle where it belongs once and for all.

If that doesn’t happen, it will be a bright not so distant future for the far right and a likely grim one for decent common Europeans.

With all that said, the most important quote from Barnier’s comments cited above isn’t the part about suspending immigration, but the following,

“I know, as the politician that I am, to see the problems how they are and how French people experience them and to find solutions.”

Ivan Dikov


(Photo: European Parliament Multimedia Center)

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