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ECR Party

Jan Zahradil: AECR is not anti-migration

AECR is the fastest growing political movement in Europe and is now a serious threat to the main federalist political parties in Brussels. Attempts to discredit it have naturally also increased. Numerous politicians try to paint AECR as generally critical about migration. Some have even gone as far as to claim that AECR is anti-migration.

However, this argument is fundamentally mistaken because it treats AECR as one homogenous entity with only one view on important issues such as migration, and it confuses being generally against migration with being against illegal migration.

Every member of AECR is a signatory of the Reykjavík Declaration, which clearly states that the EU should be a political entity of independent nations, working together for mutual gain, and should remain so. Moreover, it favours the exercise of power at the lowest practicable level – by the individual where possible, and by local or national authorities in preference to supranational bodies.

AECR therefore believes that, if possible, questions of migration should be managed at the national level, acknowledging the unique democratic legitimacy of the nation-state over supranational bodies like the EU. For this reason, AECR believes that all its member parties have the right to propose their national migration policy.

This, of course, does not mean that AECR members do not have common standpoints on migration issues: they all share the conservative beliefs that illegal migration must be fought, that the EU should stand to its own rules like the Schengen Agreement or the Dublin Regulation, and that the external EU borders should be well protected.

If a sovereign country decides to allow and foster migration, it should be able to do so. If it decides otherwise, it should also be able to do so. Moreover, signatory countries of EU agreements must respect these agreements even if they do not appreciate their consequences. Therefore, criticising AECR for being anti-migration fails to grasp that the AECR is about the return of power to national parliaments and not the centralisation of power in Brussels, and that treaties and legislation between sovereign countries must be respected.