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Bart De Wever’s reaction to the proposals by European Council President Donald Tusk
“It is no secret that the N-VA favours an Australian model, with closure of the external borders, pushbacks and reception outside the European Union. And with this draft decision it is clear that Europe too is finally at a tipping point when it comes to migration.
“The proposal that Donald Tusk is putting on the table is an important step in the right direction. Migrants will be received in centres outside the European Union. And what are the ‘regional disembarkation platforms’ if not pushbacks by any other name? This is a total U-turn.
“But the final part is still missing. As long as people have the idea that it’s worth heading off for Europe illegally, human traffickers will earn money from their suffering. We must tackle that business model at its root. We will do this by making it clear that anyone who comes to Europe illegally will lose any chance of a right of residence in Europe. In this way we remove the incentive to come to Europe illegally, we can close the asylum counters in the European Union and we direct all potential asylum-seekers to the legal channels that come into being as a result of this proposal. And we will do all of this within a European resettlement policy for true refugees who are not trying to migrate to Europe illegally, but are stuck in the refugee camps in the region where the major conflicts are taking place (Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, etc.) with a strict maximum limit.
“The Belgian government must support Tusk in his draft decision and advocate shutting down the illegal human trafficking to Europe. More than that, we must not just support Tusk but also go further and make entering Europe illegally completely pointless. Only by so doing can we bring an end to the migration crisis that has been out of control since the ‘Wir schaffen das’ in 2015 and is causing support for migration to be eroded.”