CHINA TOPIX

Updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

Make CT Your Homepage

Jean-Claude Juncker Warns Cameron Against Restricting EU Migrants’ Freedom

 Jean-Claude Juncker

(Photo : Reuters / Yves Herman) Jean-Claude Juncker, the incoming president of the European Commission (EC), presents the list of the European Commissioners and their jobs for the next five years, during a news conference at the EC headquarters in Brussels September 10, 2014.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned UK Prime Minister David Cameron against restricting the EU migrants' freedom of movement, firmly saying he will not "compromise" on this matter.

Juncker said Cameron is trying to "destroy" the set rules that give EU immigrants the freedom to live and work anywhere within the bloc. This latest accusation will hurt the image of Cameron, who is moving to repair the UK's ties with Brussels in preparation for the 2017 referendum he promised, The Telegraph explained.

Like Us on Facebook

"If we are destroying the freedom of movement, other freedoms will fall," said Juncker. "I am not willing to compromise."

EU members states can choose to live and work anywhere they please as long as their options are in line with the existing EU treaties. Any attempt to change the benefits received by foreigners should also follow the rules set by the said treaties, the new European Commission president insisted.

The Conservatives are reportedly slated to consider several options to limit migration within the bloc. This comes amid growing concern about increasing immigration into the United Kingdom.

When Cameron suggested that they could alter the EU nationals' right to live and work in other EU states, Juncker responded by saying changing the rules on the migrants' freedom of movement may soon lead to efforts to also alter the "freedom of movement of capital," BBC News relayed.

The British prime minister, on the other hand, on Wednesday told the UK Parliament that they need to "get a grip" on the issue of immigration from all sides. Although the government already set the first limitations on benefit eligibility, they are convinced they could still do more than that, Cameron added.

Juncker, who will begin his post as the new EU Commission president, called on the UK to exercise "more flexibility" on important European matters such as migrants' freedom of movement. Moves to implement more extensive changes would require a discussion by all members of the 28-state block with the European Commisssion, Juncker added.

The bloc should deal with the issue with an open mind but they cannot alter the set rules, Juncker told BBC.

Real Time Analytics