Populist’s Electoral Success Forcing Europe to Think Twice About New Mass-Migration Schemes

MUNICH, GERMANY - JANUARY 11: Supporters of the right-wing populist group Pegida, holding a placard 'Merkel muss weg' ('Merkel Off') march on January 11, 2016 in Munich, Germany. Pegida and other right-wing activists have been quick to latch on to the New Year's Eve sex attacks in Cologne. Over 100 …
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Germany has U-turned and blocked a new European Union (EU) mass migration scheme it once supported, because of the electoral success of the anti-mass migration AfD party, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) has said.

The unelected European Commission is currently pushing through reforms to asylum and migration policies, including the forced relocation of refugees and a new so-called “Blue Card” scheme to bring in thousands more “skilled” migrants.

The Commission pitched the scheme in 2016, claiming there will be 756,000 unfilled ICT jobs in the bloc by 2020, which can be filled by migrants instead of training up Europeans.

Angela Merkel’s Germany initially backed the “Blue Card” mass migration scheme, being negotiated behind closed doors, but switch to blocking it soon after September’s federal elections, an MEP claims.

The AfD shocked the nation by winning 94 seats, and Mrs. Merkel’s party, that oversaw the 2015 migrant crisis and arrival of more than a million people from the Middle East, suffered their worst election performance since the war.

Following the vote, Mrs. Merkel defended her open borders policy and insisted the AfD would not influence her migrant and foreign policy in the future. Yet, an MEP now claims policy changed almost immediately.

“It is not being blocked by central and eastern European countries, it is being blocked and outright rejected by Germany,” explained Claude Moraes, a British Labour party MEP, reports the EUobserver website.

Mr. Moraes, who chairs the parliament’s civil liberties committee, said Germany’s change of heart on the Blue Card proposal came soon after the elections, which he claimed was the cause.

“It was a consequence of the AfD, the change in government, the fact that a new immigration bill is coming out,” he added.

The Commission’s director-general on migration and home affairs told MEPs earlier this week that they do not know how to force the reforms through, and are trying to come up with proposals.

She also said talks among legislators on reforms to other migration issues have not even started, such as the asylum procedures and the Dublin agreement, which means migrants must register in the first EU nation they enter.

“When you want to use Dublin, when you want to have efficient procedures you cannot be without this regulation,” she said.

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