“The proposal is nothing more than cheap populism and only serves resentments”, commented JEF Germany president Lars Becker. He added: “This is an attack on the freedom of movement and the EU civil liberties.” His French colleague, Aurélien Caron, agreed and further remarked: “Borders are nowadays a European – and not a national matter. We call on the governments not to abuse this topic for national elections.”
Both presidents believe that instead of re-nationalising inner EU-borders the governments should better Europeanise the EU’s external borders. “We acknowledge that open borders may also pose some challenges to security. However, these must be met jointly. It is incomprehensible why our interior ministers opt for national solutions when in fact this is a European issue par excellence”, said Caron. Becker suggested to help those states unable to guard their borders. “Instead of closing off the own borders Germany and France should better support those struggling states, for example Spain and Greece. It cannot be that countries with no external borders, like Germany, hide behind the overburdened southern and eastern Member States.”
However, Caron and Becker also stressed that the EU should not turn into a fortress and that all immigrants must be treated with respect by border guards and according to their human rights.
JEF France and JEF Germany have been ﬁghting for the free movement of Europeans ever since their founding. In 1950 JEF members chopped and burned boundary-posts at the Franco-German border and in 2011 they demonstrated against plans of the then Danish government to re-introduce border controls. “Borders represent nationalism, hatred and war. JEF will always ﬁght against any attempt to re-introduce them on European soil”, Caron and Becker closed their statement.