“Far too many have been let in”

24 August 2018
Theo Francken

“It stops here. We are no longer taking in illegal migrants who leave North Africa by boat.” Yesterday evening, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken once again emphasised his point. He reiterated that the priority is to deport criminals. “The focus is on those who cause a nuisance. Every year we send back 1,800 criminals; three times as many as we used to.”

Miracle solutions

Theo Francken warned that there are no miracle solutions. “In the short term, there is no solution. We have let far too many in. I have always said: do not do this. Wir schaffen das nicht. Now they are here, now we will continue to fight, day after day, against illegal migration,” he said with determination.

Decline of the EU

According to the Secretary of State, three things need to be further developed: more agreements with countries of origin, more agreements with the countries in which the migrants arrive, and ensuring that illegal migrants no longer enter Europe. “We are organising the collapse of the Schengen zone and of the European Union if we keep on like this,” believes Secretary of State Theo Francken.


However, there is progress. The so-called hotspots on the external borders allow for greater control. “Previously, anyone could just enter Europe. Now at least, the migrants are being registered and fingerprints taken on arrival. This allows us, in accordance with the Dublin Regulation, to send these people back to the country where they entered Europe,” explains the Secretary of State.

Political stubbornness in Brussels

Theo Francken once again showed regret regarding the lack of political will in Brussels. “We are prepared to help Brussels deal with the situation in Maximilian Park. The Mayor can count on us. But the political will must be there. Unfortunately, the Mayor of Brussels prefers to play a political game with a view to the municipal elections in October,” said the Secretary of State.

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