The European Union High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, called the situation on the border between Poland and Belarus, where Minsk is pushing migrants into European territory, a humanitarian, migration and geopolitical crisis and called on Europeans to mobilize all resources with the To deal with the situation.
“The crisis is serious. It is not a war, but it is an attack, it is the use of vulnerable people as weapons that can be thrown against a wall,” said Borrell in a debate in the European Parliament on the crisis passed the border between Poland and Belarus, where thousands of migrants crowd under the leadership of the Belarusian authorities.
The head of Community diplomacy criticized the instrumentalisation of migration by the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and pointed out that the EU must mobilize all resources to cope with the situation “from a humanitarian, migration and geopolitical point of view”.
In a comprehensive discussion in Europe about financing the construction of walls and barbed wire, Borrell described the situation on the EU’s external border as a “humanitarian crisis” and called for it to be faced as such and for Poland and Belarus to ensure that migrants, who are trapped in this area to allow access.
“The pictures are shocking and the situation could get worse and the pictures even more shocking,” he warned, calling for a “humanitarian corridor” to be opened to allow migrants to exit the border crossing.
At the same time, Borrell has hinted that the crisis is responding to a geopolitical problem and that the Lukashenko regime is responding to EU sanctions by putting people at risk. “This is completely unacceptable and we must mobilize all means to cope with the situation from a humanitarian and geopolitical point of view,” he stressed.
In any event, the High Representative has pointed out that the EU must act by widening sanctions against those responsible for migratory flows, which he warned include “a network of destinations with different airlines and many actors”.
On the role of Community diplomacy in this crisis, Borrell told MPs that since the trend was noticed in June, the European bloc has been in contact with thirteen countries to close migration routes.
“We have maintained contacts, alerted countries of origin and transit and asked for coordination to stop the routes. We have contacted thirteen countries, I personally with Iraq, and they have taken measures to prohibit travel and close the Belarusian consulates,” said he.
Although Iraq is the example of success in this crisis and the EU succeeded in curbing the flow of migrants from Baghdad in the summer, flights from other locations such as Jordan, Lebanon or Egypt have increased as a result, with Turkey at the crossroads of the European approach is because it has become a “transit hub for migrants” in recent weeks, said the High Representative.
To this end, the European Commission’s Vice-President for Securities, Margaritis Schinas, will tour the countries of the region to highlight the need for action to curb orchestrated migration to Poland and the Baltic countries. The tour will include a stop in Turkey, a country with which the European bloc experienced a similar crisis back in spring 2020 when it opened the border crossings with Greece.
The European People’s Party, in turn, has spoken out in favor of financing a wall to protect the EU’s external border from “blackmail” by Belarus, for which it ultimately blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The head of the “People”, Manfred Weber, has also called for measures against airlines such as Turkish Airlines and even Facebook for participating in the “business model” of migrant smugglers.
Regarding the controversy over funding a wall, Weber has assured that Europe should not be “innocent” and has stated that there are fences and barbed wire in other places like Ceuta and Melilla. “It’s not what we like to see, but the reality is that we are innocent. Funds must be available to fund these activities, ”he said.
His position quickly met with the response of socialist spokeswoman Iratxe García, who ensured that the experience of the Berlin Wall reminded Europe that these infrastructures “do not alleviate suffering”. In his opinion, the bloc’s response must be “firm”, without forgetting that the thousands of migrants on the Polish border pose “no threat to the security” of Europe.
At this point he addressed the President of the Council directly, Charles Michel, who, on a visit to Warsaw, proposed the construction of a wall on the border, asking the EU to be clear about it and to explain that it would never fund it becomes dimensions. “We have other tools to stop the drama,” argued García, who called for sanctions against airlines, companies and people involved in migration routes.
On the side of the Greens, the Dutchwoman Tineke Strik has reiterated that the European bloc cannot answer Lukashenko with the same coin and warned that if the hot return normalizes, the right to asylum will be terminated.
IU MP Sira Rego has also warned against the advance of the ultra-right agenda in Europe and criticized the European Commission for allowing fundamental rights with regard to migrants to be violated in Poland.