“On migration, we must not be naive. The point is that we have to help the countries of origin. But we will always have migrations linked to economic needs, to asylum. The key, if we do not want to be overwhelmed, is to provide opportunities in the countries of origin, to help stability and security in those countries, and to better protect our borders.
The real common enemy are the traffickers, the networks, the people who play on human misery. We allowed them to structure themselves, to prosper, they are often linked to drugs, to human trafficking.
There is what I call an ethical tension on these subjects, which goes with realism. We must welcome, it is constitutional asylum, we have an interest in welcoming, because we do not operate sectors of the economy without it. On the other hand, welcoming everyone is not sustainable for the balances of our countries.
The Pope has a more complex thought than is sometimes said. He sees the imbalances caused by migratory crises, he feels very well that entire peoples are hit by this. If we do not protect our national integrity, we risk fueling in return very harsh nationalisms, phenomena that Europe had known how to tame. But each is in his role. The Pope has no border to manage.
Catholics and Protestants have often challenged me on the subject of migrants. Between our capacity to welcome and the protection of who we are, there is this ethical tension that it is up to me to manage. “