Politician, professor and jurist, Juan Fernando López Aguilar He served as Spanish Minister of Justice between 2004 and 2007. Since 2009 he has been an MEP and currently chairs the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and the Interior of the European Parliament, where he fights “with his hands” – he confesses in this interview with EL MUNDO – for a dignified European policy for migrants and asylum seekers and based on the solidarity of the 27.
Ask. Some progress has been made this year in the EU negotiations on the Pact on Migration and Asylum. What are the main obstacles?
Answer. In the Commission that I chair, we have processed the initiative of five regulations into which the new Migration and Asylum Pact has been translated. We have worked hard in a Parliament in which no one has a majority based on their own seats and where everything has to be negotiated with laws of variable geometry 24 hours a day, so that Parliament – three years after very tough negotiations – could reach approve them at first reading, which therefore means the first legislative mandate of the European Parliament. The five regulations are interrelated, they form a system and we will not allow them to be dismantled. We have enforced what has been my priority since I have been in the European Parliament: that the mandate of Article 80 of the Treaty of Lisbon be fulfilled, by which the migration system must be based on shared responsibility and binding solidarity.
The most difficult, by far, has been exactly the solidarity pillar of which I am in charge, because in addition to the president of the legislative commission, I am the rapporteur of the crisis regulation, which articulates a European-wide solidarity response through programs mandatory rehousing for all Member States after rescue and rescue operations. I am thinking of those vulnerable borders of the States on the front line, which are those that overlook the African ledge in the Mediterranean: Spain, Malta, Italy, Cyprus and Greece. With a delicate situation for Spain because it is the only country in the European Union that has land borders with the African continent, none other than Ceuta, Melilla. And also, it has the Canary Islands on the Atlantic route to Europe, which is by far the deadliest. I say all this now, with more conviction if possible, seeing how the situation is in El Hierro, dramatic, in which everyone wonders – like in Lampedusa, where they have been several times as in the Greek islands -: Where is Europe? There is intra-Spanish solidarity, we call it derivation and it is orchestrated by the Government of Spain. According to reports in El Hierro, the Ministry of the Interior sends them to the central islands in 48 hours and, in just a week, to the Peninsula. We want that at European level at once. That is the fight and it is the most difficult.
P. What are, in addition to solidarity, the values that the Pact should protect?