Weakened asylum rules on EU border with Belarus

The EU Commission has proposed that the migrants at the Polish border with Belarus be temporarily accommodated in reception centres. It also wants to allow Poland, Latvia and Lithuania to extend the asylum process and apply simplified rules for deportations. What do commentators in Europe make of this?

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Kleine Zeitung (AT) /

A dreadful precedent

With this stance, a worthwhile reform of the system becomes ever less likely, warns the Kleine Zeitung.

“The inability of the EU countries to move forward with the asylum reform has now resulted in the Commission presenting a 'stopgap' solution that is nothing but an act of desperation. Although it's perfectly clear to everyone that the drama has been orchestrated by Lukashenko and is in no way comparable to a real wave of refugees, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania could be authorised to partially suspend the asylum rules. ... The number of refugees has not reached a relevant level; if it is nevertheless possible to detain asylum seekers in camps for up to 20 weeks or to allow applications to be submitted only at certain points, this sets a precedent for all other countries and similar situations in the future.”

Wprost (PL) /

A success for Warsaw

The decision would also have consequences for Polish domestic policy, Wprost explains:

“The European Commission wants to make it easier for Poland to fight hybrid attacks from Belarus. The proposal would legalise the practices of our border guards - bad news for the opposition, which is criticising the government's stance, and for activists helping migrants sent by Lukashenka. ... The Commission's proposal still has to be approved by European governments. But it is already a major success for those countries that have criticised the EU's overly liberal immigration laws.”