Poland closes its border with Belarus

Poland is reinforcing the EU's eastern border with barbed wire and fences to prevent the entry of immigrants coming from Belarus. Brussels has accused Lukashenka of deliberately sending migrants on to put pressure on the EU in retaliation for the sanctions it has imposed. Poland's population and press voice concern that fleeing Afghans and Iraqis are now trapped in the no-man's land between the two countries.

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Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Close borders but with a sense of proportion

Humanitarian principles must not be sacrificed, Rzeczpospolita demands:

“We must align ourselves with EU policy: close borders, fight human traffickers, use the secret services to protect our borders against radicalism and terrorism. These are key challenges, especially for those in power, who must find the right way to address them without abandoning either the norms of international law or humanitarian principles. If we seal our borders we should do it wisely, while maintaining the possibility of asylum procedures at border crossings. Refugees fleeing to the free world should know that there's no need to stumble over the border between the EU and Belarus somewhere in the wilderness, but that people with empathy and competence are waiting for them in the right place.”

Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

More expertise and less emotion needed

A factual debate conducted without too much emotion would lead to a better understanding of the increasingly complex refugee problem, Tygodnik Powszechny puts in:

“Are we helping those who are actually fleeing war and persecution by calling all arrivals 'refugees' per se? ... If we managed to avoid the trap of too much emotion, we could learn more about complex migration routes and a changing world. ... The pro-refugee side bears even more responsibility for the quality of this debate - and thus ultimately for the well-being of future asylum seekers - than it did six years ago.”