Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

On Thursday 13 January, EC Vice-President Schinas and Commissioner Johansson will explain to MEPs the plans to temporarily adapt asylum rules at the EU-Belarus borders.

In a debate in the Civil Liberties Committee, representatives of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), UNHCR and the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) will also present their views.

When : Thursday 13 January 2022, 09:10 – 10:30

Where: SPAAK building, room 1A2, and per videoconference.

The European Commission proposed on 1 December 2021 to modify the asylum, return and reception rules at the EU borders with Belarus for a period of six months. Under the temporary arrangement, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania would be able to extend the deadline to register applications for international protection; the border asylum procedure would apply to almost all applicants and could take up to 16 weeks, and return procedures would be faster. The proposal came in response to a European Council’s request to tackle hybrid threats organized by the Belarus regime.

In a recent plenary debate (part 1 and part 2), MEPs already expressed concerns over the approach chosen by the Commission and the risks to the effective right to asylum in the EU.

Follow the discussion live from 9:10 on here.

Background

The proposal for the Council decision is based on Article 78(3) and is of exceptional and temporary nature. It should be adopted by the Council after consulting the European parliament.

In addition, on 14 December Commission proposed a regulation addressing situations of instrumentalisation in the field of migration and asylum, which aims to tackle in a structural manner any future situations of instrumentalisation at external EU borders and includes measures similar to those proposed in the temporary legislation to deal with the situation in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. These new rules have to be adopted through the ordinary legislative procedure, where the European parliament acts as co-legislator.

Further information