Édouard Philippe advocates, in an interview with L'Express published on Monday, the questioning of a 1968 agreement with Algeria on migration issues, and distills several positions against a "fait accompli immigration", while the subject agitates the majority and the right.
This agreement organizes the entry, stay, and employment of Algerians in France, according to rules derogating from common law. On certain points, the Algerians are favored compared to other foreigners (in particular as regards family reunification ), on others they are losers (in particular for students).
This text "completely determines the law applicable to the entry and residence of Algerian nationals, with stipulations which are much more favorable than common law. This is a very clear feature. No national of another State benefits from such advantages," said the former prime minister.
"Of course, there are extremely powerful historical relations between France and Algeria, but maintaining such a system today with a country with which we have complicated relations no longer seems justified to me", continues Édouard Philip.
In this interview, the president of Horizons evokes a "fait accompli immigration" in France, with "a very strong acceleration in the increase in the number of foreigners" since the beginning of the 2000s. And "the geographical origin of foreigners, too, has changed", with a greater proportion of foreigners coming from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
"During this period, the French population increased by 9% and the number of foreigners increased by 53%. And nothing in this evolution corresponds to a political choice or to a decision that we would have taken", continues the mayor of the Haven.
Mr. Philippe tackles "three things left unsaid" in terms of immigration: "First, we say that we want fewer foreigners in France, but when a certain number of our fellow citizens say so, they aim in reality people who are French, sometimes for three generations. It is not the control of the entry of foreigners into France that will solve this problem. It is a subject of integration, education, good citizenship ".
"The second unsaid concerns Islam", which has become "a central subject, a disturbing subject, a haunting subject".
"Finally, there is the unspoken work. Many French people find that there are too many foreigners in France, but in Parisian restaurants, in the tourist industry, in the agricultural sector, in a whole series of economic sectors which are not in crisis and which are essential to French success, we rely on a number of foreigners who are quite impressive", develops Mr. Philippe.
The former Prime Minister says he is "very supportive of the proposals made by Gérald Darmanin and Olivier Dussopt", while the executive is looking for ways to a parliamentary majority with LR on the immigration side. “This law is necessary, but I know that it is not sufficient”, he specifies nevertheless.
He says he is "opposed to any massive regularization and favorable to the principle proposed by Olivier Dussopt: to allow people exercising professional activities in sectors where the national interest requires to be able to continue to do so. I would prefer that this regularization be done at the case by case".
Mr. Philippe says he understands "the objective pursued by LR", which wants to modify the Constitution in order to be able to derogate from European and international law, but "this proposal is not satisfactory in its terms. It would be interpreted for what it is, i.e. a form of legal Frexit".