French President Emmanuel Macron responded to Pope Francis’ call for Europe’s “responsibility” in the migration crisis, stating that France “does its part” on the issue of welcoming migrants. Pope Francis had denounced the “indifference” of European leaders towards migrants during his visit to Marseille, France.
Macron, in a television interview, acknowledged that the Pope was right to call for a “surge against indifference,” but emphasized that the French are doing their part. However, he also quoted former socialist Prime Minister Michel Rocard in saying that “we cannot accommodate all the misery in the world.”
The French president emphasized the importance of a coordinated European response to the massive arrival of migrants, such as that which occurred on the Italian island of Lampedusa the previous week. Macron urged Italians not to leave them alone and advocated for a coherent approach involving the countries of origin and transit of migrants.
Regarding the countries of origin of migrants, Macron proposed making European aid conditional on responsible migration policies and cooperation in dismantling smuggling networks. To countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, such as Tunisia, he suggested collaborating in the fight against smugglers and offering assistance to prevent dangerous migration.
Macron stressed the importance of providing resources and support to transit countries to prevent people from risking their lives in the Mediterranean. He also expressed interest in the European Union investing more in these nations and establishing partnerships to prevent irregular migration.
Macron’s response underlines the complexity of the migration crisis in Europe and the need for a comprehensive approach that addresses both the root causes of migration and international cooperation to ensure the safety and well-being of migrants and refugees.