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Parliamentary questions
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1 October 2021
Question for written answer  E-004494/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Tineke Strik (Verts/ALE), Damian Boeselager (Verts/ALE), Saskia Bricmont (Verts/ALE), Damien Carême (Verts/ALE), Alice Kuhnke (Verts/ALE), Erik Marquardt (Verts/ALE), Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE), Sylwia Spurek (Verts/ALE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Interim measures with respect to the situation of asylum-seekers in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania

Following a number of legislative changes in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, security forces have reportedly prevented dozens of asylum seekers at the EU border with Belarus from entering these countries and making asylum claims, which has led to multiple deaths. On 8 September, the European Court of Human Rights issued an interim ruling to require that Lithuania refrain from returning five Afghan asylum seekers to Belarus. This ruling, according to Reuters, was violated on 9 September. On 27 September, the European Court of Human Rights expanded its previous interim orders by requiring Poland and Latvia to provide affected individuals with food, care, shelter and access to lawyers.

1. Does the Commission consider the states of emergency, legislative reforms and subsequent actions taken by Poland, Latvia and Lithuania to be compliant with the Schengen acquis and EU asylum law, and specifically the provisions requiring Member States to grant access to asylum procedures, including at the border?

2. What actions is the Commission taking to follow up on the interim measures, in particular with regard to the pushback by the Lithuanian authorities on 9 September?

3. Has the Commission assessed whether the presence of EU agencies in Latvia and Lithuania is compatible with the legal frameworks under which the agencies are required to operate?

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