scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Thousands march in Brussels against UN migration pact

Police said some 5,500 people marched in the bigger protest, organised by Flemish right-wing parties in the part of the capital where main European Union institutions are located.

By: Reuters | Brussels | December 16, 2018 9:14:56 pm
 Brussels, Brussels protest, Marrakesh Migration pact, Belgium protest, migration belgium, belgium migration protest, world news, indian express, latest news Far-right supporters face off with police during a protest against Marrakesh Migration Pact in Brussels, Belgium December 16, 2018. (REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

Thousands of people marched in Brussels on Sunday against a UN pact aimed at fostering cooperation on migration, eclipsing a smaller demonstration in support of the deal, the signing of which brought down Belgium’s government last week.

Police said some 5,500 people marched in the bigger protest, organised by Flemish right-wing parties in the part of the capital where main European Union institutions are located.

A separate counter-demonstration of around 1,000 people, organised by left-wing groups and non-governmental organisations, took place in the city centre.

Belgian right-wing N-VA, which is the biggest party in parliament, pulled its ministers from the ruling coalition last week after Prime Minister Charles Michel refused its demand that he not sign the UN migration compact in Marrakesh.

 Brussels, Brussels protest, Marrakesh Migration pact, Belgium protest, migration belgium, belgium migration protest, world news, indian express, latest news Police officers face off with far-right supporters during a protest against Marrakesh Migration Pact, outside European Commission headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium December 16, 2018. (REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

Michel had secured a large parliamentary majority in favour of maintaining Belgium’s support of the U.N. text, with support from the opposition socialists and greens. Critics said the N-VA’s move was the opening shot in a campaign before federal elections in May.

The UN pact was agreed in July by all 193 UN members except the United States, but only 164 formally signed it at the meeting last Monday.

It has run into criticism from European politicians who say it could increase immigration to Europe as the bloc has turned increasingly restrictive on accepting refugees and migrants alike since a 2015 spike in arrivals.

Ten countries, mostly in formerly Communist Eastern Europe, have pulled out of the non-binding pact.

With a record 21.3 million refugees globally, the United Nations began work on the pact after more than one million people arrived in Europe in 2015, many fleeing civil war in Syria and poverty in Africa.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App.

0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement