French presidential candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, aged 61, has expressed his belief that the recurring riots in France are a result of the failure of a large number of migrants to integrate into French society.
He argues that the solution to this problem lies in France leaving the Schengen Area, the borderless zone of the European Union. Dupont-Aignan stated, "I am the only one to ask for the reestablishment of national borders and for leaving Schengen," acknowledging that his position is opposed by the entire French political class, including National Rally's Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen, who pledged to impose border checks during the 2022 election cycle.
However, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin presented data that contradicts Dupont-Aignan's claims. Darmanin pointed out that only ten percent of the participants in recent riots were non-French. The riots were sparked by the police killing of a young boy of Moroccan and Algerian descent during a traffic stop on June 27.
Despite his criticism of the Schengen Area, Dupont-Aignan maintains that France should remain within the European Union and opposes a potential "Frexit." However, he believes that member states should have more autonomy and also advocates for France's withdrawal from NATO.
Dupont-Aignan is not alone in criticizing the functioning of the Schengen zone. French President Emmanuel Macron has also called for the "refoundation of the Schengen Area." He has accused other member countries of imposing unnecessary internal border controls and has called for stronger common border protection and integration of rules.
During its EU presidency in the first half of 2022, France pledged to implement necessary reforms to the Schengen Area. While progress was made on the asylum and immigration pact, no changes were made to the functioning and laws of the Schengen zone.
By fLEXI tEAM