Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Macron Criticizes EU Rules on Migrants

Macron Criticizes EU Rules on Migrants

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018 - 07:00
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with soldiers during his visit to Calais, northern France, Tuesday, Jan.16, 2018. (Denis Charlet/Pool via AP)

President Emmanuel Macron has blasted EU policy on migrants as he visited Calais where lied the Jungle, a squalid shantytown near the northern city's port that was once home to some 10,000 migrants dreaming of Britain.

In a closely watched speech in Calais, Macron promised a more orderly immigration policy with zero tolerance for camps like the Jungle.

"There will be no reconstruction of the Jungle and no tolerance for the illegal occupation of public space," Agence France Presse quoted Macron as saying in his speech at a Calais police station.

While the Jungle was demolished in late 2016, hundreds of migrants remain in Calais, trying night after night to stow away on trucks heading across the Channel to England.

He joined a chorus of criticism for the EU's "Dublin" rules which say asylum seekers must be dealt with in the country where they arrive, creating a huge burden for frontline states like Italy.

But he ruled out suggesting migrants should be able to apply for asylum in any EU country, saying this would "strip the entry country of their responsibilities".

France gave out 262,000 residence permits last year -- a 13.7 percent hike in a year and 35 percent of them to refugees, the interior ministry said Tuesday. 

Editor Picks