EU should opt for strengthening external borders - Jose Manuel Barroso

EU should opt for strengthening external borders - Jose Manuel Barroso
16 September 2016

The European Union should opt for the strengthening of external borders, in order to avoid growing barriers inside Europe, said President of the European Commission (2004-2014), Prime Minister of Portugal (2002-2004), Jose Manuel Barroso, at the 13th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting (YES).


"I think that the European Commission is now working in the right direction, to have a strong external border. I think that we should be generous and humanitarian, receiving all refugees, but we cannot be demagogue in Europe, saying that we are going to accept everyone. We need foreign borders in Europe. If we do not have them, you will see internal borders growing more and more," he said.

As an example, Jose Manuel Barroso quoted the situation of putting a border between Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

"Some people believe that putting more borders in Europe will improve security. In reality, I think that is wrong. By developing borders between Belgium, Luxembourg and France, you are not fighting terrorism," he said.

Mister Barroso added that there is a migration threshold that should not be trespassed.

"If you go to some parts of Brussels, you will feel you are in Marrakesh, not in Belgium. People in Belgium are simply not able to accept so many people who behave differently. They dress in a different way, for example women are covered, and that can be a problem. Somebody told me that in our society, the most common name is Mohammed. I know that it is not politically correct, but it is true. There is a threshold of acceptance in our societies, they are simply not ready for a complete multiculturalism," - he concluded.

According to the former President of the European Commission, migration that is poorly controlled results in the growth of xenophobic sentiments in society, and it has also become a key factor in the British vote for BREXIT.

Back to news list
Tacan Ildem
Tacan Ildem
Ambassador, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, NATO, 14th YES Annual Meeting, 2017
«A stable, sovereign and independent Ukraine is a key to Euro-Atlantic security.»