France has decided not to side with 12 European Union member states that want to financially support Poland in building a physical barrier on its border with Belarus in an effort to stem the flow of refugees.
This is what European Affairs Minister Clement Bonn said after Poland announced it would start building a border wall in December, TheSchengen.com reports.
“I am in favor of a Europe that protects its borders, but not a Europe that puts up barbed wire or walls,” Bonn told France 2: “I support a Europe that protects its borders,” he said, also adding that the handover of migrants should be “humane and rights-respecting.”
Belarus has been criticized by representatives of higher positions in the European Union for allowing more immigrants to enter the country, thus acting as a bridge country to the western regions. The Polish government intends to finish construction of the wall by the summer of 2022.
Previously, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged the European Union to extend sanctions against Belarus and third-country airlines, as the situation on the Polish-Belarus border with migrants worsened. Previously, Belarusian troops escorted about 1,000 immigrants to Poland, since the country did not allow them to remain on its territory anymore.
Earlier, the Norwegian media, Verdens Gang, reported that the documents of the migrants at the Polish-Belarus border showed that they were being pursued in the country under false promises, including safe and easy passage to Western countries in the European Union.
Unlike France, Hungary supports Poland’s decision as the government itself promotes anti-mass immigration policies. In 2018, the government passed the “Stop Soros” regulation, under which anyone who helps migrants to stay in the country is punishable with up to one year in prison.
Moreover, the European Court decided that Hungarian laws on asylum and immigration are incompatible with the laws of the European Union. But such a statement does not appear to affect the Hungarian authorities, who recently said that they will not allow Hungary to become a country of immigrants and will continue to protect Hungary and the borders of the European Union.
The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) revealed that the number of migrants applying for permits to remain in EU member states reached around 50,000 in September. According to EASO, the countries with the most applications include Syrians, Afghanistan, and Turkey.
While Syrians still made up the largest group of asylum seekers in EU+ countries in July, the gap between Afghans continued to narrow. Moreover, with these and other major nationalities placing much more applications compared to previous months, total applications were at the highest level since the COVID-19 outbreak and approached pre-pandemic levels.”
During this period, a rise in the number of international protection applications submitted by Afghans was noted, which represents the fifth consecutive month of such applications, to 7,300, or an increase of 21 percent compared to June.