EU domestic affairs ministers to hold meeting

EU immigration meeting
Photo: Mindaugas Kulbis/AP

The Slovenian Presidency announced that European Union member states will hold an online crisis meeting today to discuss the surge of border crossings from Belarus to Lithuania.

Home affairs ministers of each member state will participate, as well as representatives of the European Asylum Support Office, Frontex and Europol. On August 5, the EU summoned Belarus’s senior envoy to Brussels, after accusing Belarus of using migrants as a political weapon against European sanctions imposed on Minsk. While the majority of crossings have been made by Iraqis, it is highly likely that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan will trigger a wave of Afghani refugees fleeing the country.

Expect Brussels to continue border security support to Baltic states neighboring Belarus. An agreement similar to that of Turkey and the EU in 2016 to take back migrants is unlikely, given that Belarus is blocking migrants from re-entering the country, as well as the deteriorating state of affairs between member states and Belarus over the past year. As comparisons to the 2015-2016 border crisis, one of the biggest political crises in the EU’s history, are drawn, the bloc may have to negotiate with states seeking membership to temporarily hold or accept incoming migrants.

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