Yesterday, the European Parliament voted to ratify the potentially disastrous Migration Pact
There were four related proposals and all of the Irish MEPs who were present were among the 419 who voted in favour of the first proposal on the overall Pact. This will now form the basis for consideration and approval by member states.
The largely former Communist Left GUE/NGL group, of which Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Ming Flanagan and Chris MacManus of Sinn Féin are members, had previously claimed that the Pact was “Trumpist” and “right wing” but they all voted for the Pact as they recognise it furthers rather than impedes their ambition which seems to be to destroy all migration controls.
They did vote against a separate but related resolution on “asylum and migration management” for the reason that people are still subject to some checks.
The ECR group as well as most of the Identity and Freedom group that includes the French Rassemblement National also opposed this measure because they do not believe that it goes far enough.
Before looking at what the Migration Pact might mean, it is worthwhile noting that even though the 13 MEPs who represent constituencies in the Republic are variously members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Green Party, Sinn Féin or left Independents, all belong to four separate European Parliament groups, and each of them who were present voted in favour of the Pact.
Those MEPs are: Colm Markey, Maria Walsh, and Seán Kelly of Fine Gael/European People’s Party; Billy Kelleher of Fianna Fáil/Renew; Ciaran Cuffe and Grace O’Sullivan of the Green Party/Greens; Chris McManus of Sinn Féin/The Left; and Independents Clare Daly, Ming Flanagan, and Mick Wallace also of the mainly communist Left GUE/NGL
Which is all the more curious given that all of the groups to which they belong, other than the Greens, have members from other countries who voted against the Pact.
So, as has been demonstrated time after time, both in the European Parliament and in the Dáil and Seanad, all of these people on key issues could be members of the same party. All would fit comfortably within the American Democratic Party.
So when you turn on some conduit of news today and listen to them squabbling over who knew which gangster, or which party has the most dodgy landlords, or which party left up the mostest poster cable ties that endanger birds, just remind yourself that when it comes to actual real stuff that will impact upon you and generations to come, that they all basically think and vote the same way.
The Pact is likely to be approved by all member states, other than those who are members of the Visegrad alliance of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
MEPs from European nationalist and conservative parties including Vox, Vlaams Blok, Finns Party who are not yet part of government, and the Sweden Democrats who are currently part of a confidence and supply pact of the right there, voted to oppose the measure.
Curiously, members of Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia voted for the proposals, presumably on the grounds that they think it is better than nothing and that they can perhaps limit the negative aspects when it gets to governmental level.
The interesting part of that is that the Pact seems to allow member states to set their own quotas – which presumably the Italians and others will do – but also contains potential powers that would allow the EU to force member states to accept unlimited numbers should the Commission decide that there is an emergency brought about by the “mass and sudden arrival of third-country nationals.”
The dangerous thing about that is that Europe is already in the midst of such a crisis. The EU itself has stated that “irregular immigration” has increased by 26% since the end of 2022. There was a 33% increase in the number of applications for asylum in the first three months of this year. There were over 300,000 detected illegal border crossings last year.
The question then is not whether there is a mass arrival of illegal immigrants, but what the solution to this is.
The fact that the Commission has the potential power to respond to this by telling member states that they must take in huge new numbers is extremely worrying given what we already know of the ideological stance of the Commission and of the Parliament and indeed of most member state governments, including the current one here and the only likely alternative.
Given the pusillanimity of successive Irish governments and the even more dangerous indications emanating from Sinn Féin and the open borders left we can expect little from those negotiations unless there is a radical sea change in the attitude of the Irish state.
Will they catch up with other European states in realising that not only are the current levels of illegal migration unsustainable, but unless measures are put in place Europe will be placed in a completely unmanageable and dangerous situation within a very short period?