Global compact on migration: "Once signed it will lead its own life!"
Belgium is supposed to sign up to the UN's global compact on migration in December. PM Charles Michel's liberals are in favour, but the main Flemish coalition partner, Bart De Wever's Flemish nationalist N-VA, is known to have grave reservations. There is speculation that the decision to sign the compact is a bomb under the future of the Belgian cabinet.
Support for ripe consideration before a Belgian signature on the document comes from Prof Marc De Vos, who lectures in labour law at Macquarie University in Sydney (Australia) and is a member of the Itinera think-tank that is highly critical of the compact.
Prof De Vos notes that signing up to the compact will have repercussions for Belgium. He argues that by signing the compact Belgium will diminish its control over its borders and say that global migration is desirable. "We shouldn't blind ourselves to the facts, but realise what we are doing and think long and hard before we sign up" he says.
He notes that it is an illusion to say that the compact is not binding arguing that numerous non-binding international texts exist that are judged to be highly important: "Once signed the compact will lead its own life!" Prof De Vos is above all worried about the long term implications. He believes the compact turns the world upside down: "The compact wants to make global migration safe and routine. We will have to guarantee access to our territory in an organised fashion."
In Prof De Vos's opinion the compact implicitly means taking leave of sovereign states that check their own borders. Migration will be facilitated, fewer illegal aliens will be locked up and migrants will gain easier access to local services.
"Europe has become a migration zone and we're struggling to make it a success" he says.