A late discussion of this Pact started in Germany.
Many people in Germany are under the impression that the German Government was trying to hide the issue from the German populace until the Pact is signed in December 2018. People claim that official German translation wasn’t available until a few weeks ago, or at least the populace wasn’t informed about such a translation.
But now, after the news that Austria will not sign the Pact, the issue came to the fore. The newspaper Die Welt publishes articles about it almost daily.
The only party that previously brought up the issue is the Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany, or AfD) which is actively campaigning against signing the Pact.
There are now attempts by the Government to try to counter the arguments of the AfD. The German Foreign Office now warns against “fake news”, mobilizing against the Pact. As Die Welt writes, on 2 November 2018:
The Foreign Office fears political sentiment against the UN migration Pact and therefore wants to launch an information campaign. There are attempts to use “misleading information” to mobilize public opinion against the agreement.
Die Welt article continues:
The Federal Foreign Office resolutely disagrees with the presentation of the AfD, for example, with the Federal Government’s admission to the agreement “accepting an acceleration and multiplication of immigration” … Predictions that the migration pact would increase immigration to certain countries “are completely dubious and do not correspond to the objectives of the pact”.
Of course, these are exactly some of the arguments that motivated the Austrian Government to reject signing the Pact.
According to the Foreign Office:
The pact formulates goals. How these objectives are implemented, especially when it comes to creating opportunities for legal migration to combat illegal migration, remains open to Member States. So the criteria and the amount of immigration remain sovereign decisions of the states.
The fear is, though, that those “sovereign decisions” of the states—in particular of Germany, with its migrant policy decisively influenced by Chancellor Merkel—will implement all the demands in the Pact document.
Die Welt again, about the contents of the Pact:
States also undertake to fight against discrimination against immigrants and in particular to take care of the situation of women and children. In addition, migrants should have access to social security systems. Critics fear that migrants could get legal claims through the pact, which would then be enforceable, for example with the help of NGOs. It would also be conceivable, it is said, that the human right to migration will trigger refugee movements again.
The article’s “Comments” section (where only registered, paying readers can write comments, but which can be read by anyone) contains a record number of currently 2678 comments, showing that people suddenly realize the importance of this Pact.