The chief Brexit negotiator says Europe is not calling for a border to be put in place in Ireland.
Mr Barnier has been negotiating with the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Commission.
"Let me be clear – we are not asking for any border between Northern Ireland and any other part of the UK," he said.
"We must de-dramatize the backstop. We’ll need to clarify how and where these controls need to be done."
"These are only technical controls on goods, no more no less."
Speaking today at the IIEA Brussels, he added: “Time is short. We need to have workable and realistic proposals.
"We await the UK White Paper, which is coming next week. My objective has always been to find an agreement with the UK, not against the UK.”
Mr Barnier said Europe will not disrespect the integrity of the Single Market.
"The Single Market is our main economic public good. We will not damage it. We will not reverse what we achieved with the UK."
"We must find solutions that respect the integrity of the Single Market. We are ready to adapt our proposal, should the UK’s redlines change.
"Our objective has always been to find a solution that works for us and the UK, not against the UK."