Timmermans: no refugees, no Schengen

Frans Timmermans, The VP of the EC standing as the socialist candidate for the post of President of the EC has said that unless Central Europe is willing to show solidarity overtaking in migrants “borders will return”.

CJEU verdict over Poland’s rejection of refugees expected in autumn

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Mr Timmermans made his remarks during a debate between the candidates for President of the EC held in the European Parliament on Wednesday. He said that every time someone dies trying to cross the Mediterranean sea to reach the EU, Europe loses a part of its soul. “We stop being who we are. We lose our values by failing to deal with this problem” he indicated.

Return of borders?

The EC’s VP did not feel the problem could be solved just by stopping human trafficking or aid to Africa. It needed “solidarity” in Europe. “Solidarity not just with regard to what we want but also in situations which are difficult. If the countries of Central and Eastern Europe continue to refuse that solidarity then sooner or later borders will return to Europe”, warned Mr Timmermans.

His words seemed to echo the recent remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron who also argued that he could not support continuing provisions of the Schengen agreement unless Central Europe shows solidarity on migration.

Long running dispute

The dispute between the countries of Central Europe and the EC over migration is a long-standing one and it has recently reached the ECJ. Central Europe has objected to compulsory quotas of refugees arguing that such a move encourages more migrants to arrive and that more aid is required in conflict areas rather than by encouraging migration.

Talk of removing Central Europe from Schengen is part of the pressure being applied to Central European countries to play ball. Poland will respond that solidarity is being shown by increasing the aid budget and that its external rather than internal borders which require protection.