Tom Vandendriessche, an MEP with the ID Group, will be investigated by the European Parliament after referring to the European Union’s proposed Migration Pact as a form of “organised repopulation”.
Pro-immigration politicians regularly connect theories about repopulation with Nazism but Vandendriessche and his allies say they defend “truth and free speech”.
In light of the start of Belgium’s six-month tenure as President of the EU Council, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo explained his country’s priorities. One of those relates to the migration debate.
Vandendriessche, a member of the Vlaams Belang opposition party in Belgium, took aim at the Migration Pact, the contested agreement that was reached a few months ago in the EU.
The MEP stated that the pact does not “serve to reduce illegal migration” but rather would attract more migration, referring to what he termed “organised repopulation”.
“Those are Commissioner Yohansson’s literal words: ‘we need migration’,” he stated on January 16, referring to European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.
“She wants to bring an additional one million migrants to Europe, on top of the many millions we already have,” he said.
“In doing so, she wants to combat the ageing of Europe’s shrinking population. So she literally wants non-European peoples to replace shrinking European peoples.
“That is, by definition, ‘replacement migration’, a synonym for ‘repopulation’,” Vandendriessche claimed.
🇪🇺 European Commissioner Ylva Johansson wants one million additional legal migrants to reach 4.5 million per year in the EU: “without immigration, we will die of hunger!”pic.twitter.com/qLVbjqTMfb
— Expat in Poland 🇵🇱 (@BasedPoland2) January 11, 2024
He and his party have been vocalising on the issue of repopulation for several years now and often that provokes a strong reaction from the Left – as was the case on January 16.
Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld, a member of the Eurofederalist Volt party, claimed it was the umpteenth time Vandendriessche had used “Nazi” terminology “in this hemisphere”.
“I urged an investigation on several occasions as to whether this is permissible. He uses the word ‘repopulation’ that, for example, neo-Nazis recently used when meeting with members of Alternative für Deutschland [AfD] about the deportation of millions of people from Germany,” she said.
“That is not an innocent term.”
In ‘t Veld, and others on the Left, claim that the use of the word “repopulation”, meaning the indigenous population of Europe being replaced by migrants, is connected to the German “Umvolkung”, a term coined by late historian Albert Brackmann.
He was lauded as part of the Nazi imperialism that sought to make “formerly German people German again” in its then-conquered territories.
At MEPs’ requests, Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, announced an investigation into the matter to check if Article 10 of Parliament’s internal rules of procedure had been broken.
That article states: “The conduct of Members shall be guided by mutual respect. It shall be based on the values and principles set out in the Treaties and, in particular, in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.”
If proven to have been violated, any sanction can range from a reprimand to a financial penalty or a temporary Parliamentary suspension.
On X, in ‘t Veld said: “The Presidium of the European Parliament will, at my request, investigate the acceptability of employing Nazi terminology within the European hemisphere.
“Tom Vandendriessche and Vlaams Belang frequently and proudly use such terms. I will never let that go unnoticed in silence.”
Het Presidium van het @Europarl_BE gaat op mijn verzoek onderzoeken of het bezigen van Naziterminologie in het Europese halfrond aanvaardbaar zijn. @TomVandendriese @vlbelang gebruikt met graagte en trots die termen. Ik zal dat nooit in stilte laten passeren https://t.co/9WGvCYz3V3
— Sophie in 't Veld (@SophieintVeld) January 16, 2024
Vandendriessche reacted, saying: “Repopulation is the process by which the original population is replaced by immigration as a result of deliberate policies to achieve it.
“This was the case with the colonisation of America, Stalin’s transmigration policy and the annexation of Tibet,” he said.
“The Nazis, too, had plans along these lines in Eastern Europe.
“As a nationalist, I oppose this. I advocate preserving our identity and sovereignty,” he added.
“And so I oppose this deliberate replacement migration of the European Union.”
The fact that the leadership of the Parliament is looking into the issue does not impress the Flemish politician, it seems.
“You cannot silence the truth with punishments, prohibitions, and intimidation,” Vandendriessche said.
“For us, the right to freedom of expression is fundamental, especially within a parliamentary institution.
“Threatening political opponents with sanctions to muzzle them is a much clearer example of fascism than the term ‘population replacement’ would be,” he concluded.
Omvolking is het vervangen van de oorspronkelijke bevolking door migratie.
Europees commissaris @YlvaJohansson heeft letterlijk bekend dat dat de bedoeling is van het EU-migratiepact.
Als het benoemen van die waarheid strafbaar is, GUILTY AS CHARGED!
— Tom Vandendriessche (@TomVandendriese) January 16, 2024