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MEPs: Protection of Lithuania’s & Latvia’s Borders Is a Challenge That Belongs to Entire EU

The European Parliament delegation announced that it had completed a three-day fact-finding mission to Latvia and Lithuania to examine the status of asylum seekers entering the European Union via Belarus.

Through a press release issued on 3 March, the European Parliament stated that from Tuesday 1 March until 3 March, seven members of the Civil Liberties Committee visited the border areas of reception and detention facilities and met with senior government officials, EU agencies and civil society. Representatives, TheSchengen.com report.

After the visit, the Chairman of the Commission on Civil Liberties and Head of the Delegation, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, noted that the external borders of Lithuania and Latvia are the external borders of the European Union, which means that protecting these borders and the challenges they face are challenges that belong to the entire Union.

“We acknowledge that last year both countries faced a special and new challenge, given the hostile behavior of the Belarusian regime and the significant increase in arrivals from Belarus. However, based on our visits and discussions, we believe that greater efforts are necessary to ensure full compliance with EU law, not Particularly with regard to the Common European Asylum System and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in actions taken abroad. He referred to borders, conditions of reception and asylum procedures.

According to the European Parliament, EU agencies and the EU as a whole need to increase and improve their support to ensure that fundamental rights are protected, even when facing specific challenges at external borders.

Parliament also called on the commission to cooperate with member states to improve the situation and speed up progress.

We welcome the readiness of Latvia and Lithuania for the possible arrival of a large number of refugees from Ukraine. We express our solidarity with both member states at these most difficult geopolitical moments.”

On December 1, 2021, the Commission submitted a motion to the Council’s decision on the motion. Parliament should be consulted on adapting the asylum rules to facilitate the handling of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with the unexpected influx of asylum seekers.

Due to the situation in Ukraine, more than a million civilians fled the country due to the Russian invasion.

While the lowest number of refugees is in Russia with 47,800 refugees and in Belarus with 357 refugees. In addition, Poland is the country that has received the largest number of Ukrainian refugees so far, which means that 505,582 refugees have traveled to this country.

As for Lithuania, 123 Ukrainians have been registered in the country since February 25. Moreover, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a total of 1,158 Ukrainian citizens have arrived in Latvia.

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Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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