2021.10.22 17:14

European Council condemns Belarus' ‘hybrid attacks’ on EU borders, calls for migration reform

LRT.lt2021.10.22 17:14

The European Council has adopted a document on migration, condemning “hybrid attacks” on the EU's borders and calling on the European Commission to make proposals to reform the bloc's migration rules.

Leaders of the 27 EU member states met at the European Council on October 21-22.

“The European Council will not accept any attempt by third countries to instrumentalise migrants for political purposes. It condemns all hybrid attacks at the EU's borders and will respond accordingly,” reads the document adopted on Friday by the Council, which has been tweeted by Charles Michel's spokesman Barend Leyts.

“The EU will continue countering the ongoing hybrid attack launched by the Belarusian regime, including by adopting further restrictive measures against persons and legal entities, in line with its gradual approach, as a matter of urgency,” according to the document.

Earlier, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has suggested that the EU should sanction all airlines that operate in Belarus and may be complicit in migrant smuggling.

The Council has also called for reforms to the EU's migration policy.

“The European Council invites the Commission to propose any necessary changes to the EU's legal framework and concrete measures underpinned by adequate financial support to ensure an immediate and appropriate response in line with EU law and international obligations, including the fundamental rights,” according to the conclusions.

Discussions in the European Council on the situation at the EU-Belarus border lasted for over four hours, Euractiv has reported.

One of the more contentious issue is whether the EU should fund border wall construction in countries like Lithuania and Poland to stop migrant flows.

“The EU remains determined to ensure effective control of its external borders,” the European Council's document says.

Read more: Migration crisis in Baltics and Poland

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