Instrumentalisation in the field of migration and asylum

Briefing 22-11-2022

In 2021, Aleksandr Lukashenko's Belarusian regime began actively attracting migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other countries, before encouraging and even forcing them to cross the borders into the European Union. This put pressure on the neighbouring countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and was the Belarusian regime's response to EU sanctions imposed following the regime's rigging of elections in 2020 and violent repression of civil society in 2021. In December 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation addressing situations of instrumentalisation in the field of migration and asylum, coupled with a proposal amending the Schengen Borders Code (SBC), to define the instrumentalisation of migrants. The proposal was initiated following the increasing role of state actors in the facilitation of irregular migration, using certain migratory flows as a tool for political purposes. The main changes the proposal brings include extending registration periods for asylum applications, applying the border procedure to all asylum claims, limiting reception conditions to meet only basic needs, and expediting return procedures. The proposal is now being examined by the Parliament and the Council. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.