Ska Keller, the Green candidate for the EU's top job, told Euronews it was unacceptable for the bloc to let migrants drown in the Mediterranean.
"I cannot accept that in 2019 we're living in an EU where people are drowning in the Mediterranean," she said. "We know where they are drowning and we are not helping at all. We're even stopping people who want to help and this is something I don't' want to see in the European Union."
She said that the EU must never impose quotas on the number of refugees welcomed across its borders but insisted that states do have an absolute right to regulate other forms of migration.
"If someone is in need you cannot say 'you're the one thousand and first person, No, we're not taking you.'
"On refugees you cannot put a limit; on migrants you can. Migration is a whole different subject. Refugees are people in need and you cannot keep them out.
"Migration it's a totally different story so that's labour migration, for example. Of course the state can say we take this many, that many, this skill that skill and not next year that's perfectly fine but that's different."
Ska Keller kicked-off a series of Euronews interviews with those in the running for the EU’s top job after May's elections
Coming up next are: Frans Timmermans, currently the EC’s first vice-president, who is nominated by the socialists. We’ll be interviewing him on Friday (April 26). Timmermans will be followed by: Violeta Tomic, candidate of the Left (April 30), Guy Verhofstadt, representing the Liberals (May 13) and Jan Zahradil from the Conservatives (May 14).
Take a chance to ask your questions to the candidates on our Facebook and Twitter.