France Doesn’t Support Proposal to Build Wall Between Poland & Belarus With EU Funding

France has decided not to side with 12 EU member states that want to support Poland financially to build a physical barrier in its borderline with Belarus in a bid to halt the flux in refugees.

That’s what the Secretary for European Affairs, Clement Beaune, said after Poland announced that it would start building a wall at the border in December, reports.

I am in favour of a Europe that protects its borders, but not a Europe that puts up barbed wire or walls,” Beaune told France 2, also adding that the handing of migrants must be “humane and respectful of rights”.

Belarus has been criticised by EU higher-stances representatives for allowing more migrants to enter the country, thus serving as a bridge country to western regions. The Polish government intends to finish building the wall by summer 2022.

Previously, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, urged for the EU to extend sanctions for Belarus and third-country airlines, as the situation at the border between Poland and Belarus with migrants has worsened. About 1,000 migrants were previously escorted by Belarus forces to Poland, as the country would not allow them to stay on its territory any longer.

Previously, Norwegian media, Verdens Gang, reported that migrants’ documents at the Poland-Belarus border showed they were pursued in the country under false promises, including safe and easy passage to EU western countries.

Unlike France, Hungary supports Poland’s decision as the government itself promotes anti-mass migration politics. The government in 2018 has passed the “Stop Soros” regulation, according to which any person found to help immigrants stay in the country would be punished with up to one-year jail detentions.

Moreover, the European Court has decided that Hungarian laws on asylum and migration do not align with the EU laws. But such a statement doesn’t seem to affect Hungarian authorities, which recently said they wouldn’t allow Hungary to become an immigrants’ country and they would continue to protect Hungary and the EU’s borders.

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has revealed that the number of immigrants applying for permits to stay in the EU member states has reached about 50,000 in September. According to EASO, the nations with the most applications include Syrians, Afghanistan and Turkey.

“While Syrians were still the largest group of asylum applicants in EU+ countries in July, the gap to Afghans continued shrinking. Moreover, as these and other main nationalities lodged substantially more applications compared to previous months, total applications were at the highest level since the outbreak of COVID-19 and approached pre-pandemic levels,” the statement published by EASO reads.

During this period, a surge in the number of requests for international protection filed by Afghans has been noted, marking the fifth consecutive month of such applications, to 7,300 applications, or a 21 per cent surge compared to June.

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