November, 2015. Having crossed from Austria into Germany, migrants make for the Bavarian village of Simbach, where they are registered by the German police
The UN Pact on Migration. For those who still believe in the hallucinatory ideal of World Government, and there are many, the UN is only doing its job: attempting to accumulate power for itself by relieving European nations, under hypnosis, of what little remains of their sovereignty. The UN’s little brother in Brussels does the same. It is not necessary to be fooled by this. All one has to do is to assemble the past utterances of various UN luminaries into a coherent Mein Kampf. To take only one of the most egregious examples (as previously reported in this journal ⇑), here is the late Peter Sutherland, then (June 2012) non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and UN Special Representative for International Migration: “We [Europeans] still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others. And that’s precisely what the European Union […] should be doing its best to undermine”. European populism is all that now stands between the European peoples and the loss of their individual cultures and shared Civilization. The UN Pact on Global Migration (see Objectives) is a document crafted against Europe, with the encouragement of those twin hovering angels, le couple franco-allemand, Macron and Merkel.
There is clearly a strong sense amongst Western nations that this “Pact” is a bottle marked “Poison”. The question is simply one of trust.
It would come as no surprise to discover that delegations from the push-countries were falling over each other to sign up to the Pact, while those from the pull-countries of Europe, the United States and Australia, were indeed already backing out: including Austria, which negotiated the Pact on behalf of the EU. The European review website, Politico.eu quotes (⇑) the senior UN official overseeing the Pact (Louise Arbour) as saying, “The initiative was launched at the request of Europe after the migration surge of 2015 […]”. At the request of Europe? Read, no doubt, “Juncker & Merkel”.
Wikipedia states that the Pact will be “politically binding”, although not “formally binding under international law”, since it is not a treaty. Nevertheless, there is clearly a strong sense amongst Western nations that this “Pact” is a bottle marked “Poison”. The question is simply one of trust.
Since the adoption of the text in July at the UN, tensions have accumulated, casting a shadow over its final approval, which is scheduled for mid-December.
From our Berlin correspondent
The large community hall of the church in Jüterborg, two hours from Berlin, is packed. This November evening, an association close to the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), Germany’s party of the radical Right, has organized a “debate” on the United Nations’ Pact on Migration. This text, the result of a compromise between some 190 countries, and finalized on 13th July, 2018, is scheduled for formal approval in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 10th December. But it has become the bête noire of anti-immigration activists the world over, who are mobilizing for its rejection. One by one, Central European governments have begun to break ranks, starting with Hungary. The controversy has also spread to other Western democracies, reflecting the febrile nature of opinion. The AfD hopes to be able to tilt Germany away from the Pact now that Angela Merkel is weakened.
In Jüterborg, some 150 people came to hear an AfD Member of the Bundestag, Beatrix von Storch, explain that the Pact would open Germany’s doors to 250 million migrants around the world, and force changes to German law. An elected official of the SPD (Germany’s Social-Democratic Party), Simon Vaut, attempted to contradict her: “This text is not legally binding and aims only to organize migration at the global level, by setting objectives dealing with: management of borders; reception of migrants; improving the standard of living in countries of origin in order to avoid departures”, he says in summary. The room groans. Someone speaks up: “Why is it a text for migration? Why can we not be against migration?” Simon Vaut will be unable to convince anyone. Agitated exchanges on the Internet have already made their mark, even if sometimes the statements have been egregiously false: as, for example, the idea that the Pact contains the seeds of a future “Right to Migration”.
The AfD hopes to be able to tilt Germany away from the Pact now that Angela Merkel is weakened.
In Germany, as elsewhere, the “Pact for orderly, safe and regular migration” has become a subject for tense discussion. The idea for the Pact came after the 2015 immigration crisis, which highlighted the lack of cooperation between European nations. After a first declaration of intentions in September 2016, and various consultations, negotiations began in January 2018. The final text now contains 23 objectives and a series of recommendations. It concerns all forms of migration throughout all continents: into Europe, within Africa, and between Asia and the Middle East. A second, separate “Pact” is in preparation at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, on the issue of asylum applicants. To advertise her attachment to this text, described as “in the interests of Germany”, Angela Merkel will go to Marrakesh. But her position is precarious. Under pressure from the populists [of the AfD], her party, the CDU, is discussing whether to formalize its policy on the matter by putting it to the vote in early December.
A similar debate has not been ignited in France. The Head of State, Emmanuel Macron, supports the text. But France is the only country in Europe to have avoided controversy. In Italy, Council President Giuseppe Conte has yielded to his far-right minister, Matteo Salvini, announcing on Wednesday that his country would not participate in the Marrakesh conference, in order to take time to “debate the text”. In Belgium, the government of Charles Michel is divided. In Slovakia, too, the crisis rumbles on, and Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini has now announced the withdrawal of his country from the accord. But a few days before, Pellegrini’s Foreign Minister, Miroslav Lajčák, had envisaged resigning in such an event, as he himself was a leading architect of the Pact. In recent weeks, the Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia and Bulgaria have also distanced themselves, as have Israel and Australia, the latter renowned for its particularly restrictive migration policy. To this list should be added the United States, which took no part in the negotiations over the text. As of December 2017, the Trump administration withdrew from the discussions because immigration policy “should be decided by Americans alone”.
At the United Nations, where the near-unanimous adoption of the accord in July was hailed as “historic”, the disappointment is palpable. “This pact, which does not affect the sovereignty of states in terms of migration policy, does not treat migration as either good or bad, but provides a framework for its improved management”, according to the General Secretariat. As rotating President of the European Union for the first semester of this year, Austria negotiated the text on behalf of the EU. But under pressure from his far-Right coalition partner, the FPÖ [Freedom Party of Austria], Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced in late October that he could no longer support the resolutions contained in the document, for fear “that Austria would no longer be able to decide alone” its immigration policy.
Vienna has thus rallied to the arguments put forward by Viktor Orbán. In Hungary, where Prime Minister Orbán has built his authority on a total refusal to accept any immigrants, the rejection of the Pact was immediate. By the spring, the country had refused to associate itself with a European position. “For the government, it was all about keeping the issue of migration at the top of the political agenda during the election campaign”, explains Daniel Hegedüs, a specialist on Hungary at the German Marshall Fund. “The government has taken a stand against the Pact, saying that migrants could use it in the courts, falsely, to obtain asylum.”
This argument stings, along with the others. But hey are brushed aside by Gerald Knaus, an expert on migration issues, and architect of the 2016 agreement between the EU Turkey. “If the Pact on migration, which in places merely restates the Convention on Human Rights, is rejected, what happens then?”, he asks in its defence. “But as with all proposals from the United Nations, the Pact is in the final analysis a weak instrument. It expresses only the desire for better cooperation.” For those who reject immigration out of hand, it is already too much.