EU Elections 2019: On Migration Parties Differ in Specifics, But Most Want Common EU Policy (Feature)

By , 08 May 2019, 12:52 PM Politics
EU Elections 2019: On Migration Parties Differ in Specifics, But Most Want Common EU Policy (Feature) JL Flanner

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STA, 8 May 2019 - The parties standing in the upcoming EU election have very different views on the issue of migration, which the EU has been struggling with in recent years. While coalition parties mostly advocate for a common EU migration policy and sharing the burden, the opposition, bar the Left, want better border protection.

 

The senior coalition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) as well as the junior coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) believe in solidarity.

The SMC thinks quotas are one of the possible solutions to the current situation, while the LMŠ believes a balance between solidarity towards migrants and the safety of Slovenian citizens should be found.

Both parties believe the problem of people leaving their countries should be tackled at its source, with the LMŠ noting a clear distinction should be made between legal and illegal migrations.

The coalition Social Democrats (SD) have told the STA that a united pacifist foreign policy of the EU would be crucial to deal with migration, along with protection of external EU borders.

Also important will be fair trade and a high level of environment protection and labour standards, the SD believes.

The party thinks countries share the responsibility for the situation and should also share the burdens.

The coalition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) agrees. "No country will be able to deal with this challenge alone and border fences will not stop immigration."

The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), another ruling coalition party, thinks the migration influx has caught the EU completely unprepared.

"Each country took its own steps and what we witnessed at the end of 2015 is a disgrace for all of us who believe that Europe is a humane and civilised community," it says.

The opposition Left thinks the EU's foreign policy and its policy towards neighbouring countries need a thorough overhaul. Rather than building fences, buying weapons and gathering troops, the EU should invest in peace building in its neighbourhood, the party stresses.

"These people are fleeing from hunger, poverty, wars, ecological disasters," the Left has said about migrants.

In contrast, the opposition Democrats (SDS) and the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS), running on a joint ticket, think the EU has made the right call when it recently decided to send 10,000 police officers at its external borders.

The SDS+SLS alliance believes the migration issue should be tackled in source countries and opposes obligatory refugee quotas for EU member states.

The opposition National Party (SNS) has even more radical views, calling for immediate closure of EU borders for all migrants.

The party also thinks all those who are already in the country and do not meet the criteria for residence should immediately be sent back to their countries.

The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) thinks the main problem is the lack of dialogue between central and western Europe.

"We need a European solution that will not breach the sovereignty of countries. We cannot have one Europe and two migration policies and two interpretations of the rule of law."

The issue of migration should primarily be addressed by tackling economic and social problems in source countries, the NSi believes.

Among the non-parliamentary parties and lists, the Homeland League (DOM) holds the most radical view, demanding that the EU protect its borders using all means available and prevent illegal migration from the Middle East and Africa.

The far-right United Slovenia, led by the self-styled militia leader Andrej Šiško, even talks of a "planned genocide against European nations" which started with the 1975 Strasbourg resolution. It claims that with the resolution, the EU predecessors agreed to accepting Arab immigrants in exchange for access to oil.

All our stories on the EU elections are here, while those on immigration are here

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