Timmermans, a former Dutch foreign minister, signed the expensive deal with Turkey to try to bring the migration crisis under control. He wants to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the EC, and has been nominated to lead the Party of European Socialists in next year’s EU Parliament elections.
He believes the EU and Africa as co-dependent continents with a common destiny. “If we do not understand that the development of our sister continent is of essential importance for our collective future, then we will make a huge mistake,” Timmermans said. “It is a matter of destiny.”
“Whose fate is going to be dealt with by whom? Europe’s fate by Africans, Africa’s fate by Europeans – we’re in this together. Our destinies are linked,” he told an audience in Lisbon, Portugal.
If Timmermans becomes head of the EC, he “will make sure” all European nations share in the “common responsibility” of Africa in supporting migration from a continent whose population is conservatively projected by the UN to reach 4,4 billion by as early as 2100.
In fact, he wants a “substantial part” of the next EC budget to be allocated to “integration” and infrastructure for migrants.
He has also strongly condemned nationalism. “I know that many of you would have liked to have seen a woman standing where I am standing now,” Timmersman said in the latter half of his speech. “Sadly that’s not something I can offer. The only thing I can do is offer a male feminist, and that’s who I am.”
His main job so far has been pressuring Poland to reverse changes to its court system.
In the Netherlands, his leftist Labor Party has collapsed — crushed in the March 2017 general election and ousted from the governing coalition.