With the still recent memory of the migratory crisis experienced in 2015 and 2016 – where it welcomed nearly 2 million refugees – the European Union convened three extraordinary meetings after the capture of Kabul by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
On Monday (16), the Security Council discussed how to remove European citizens and Afghan officials from EU institutions in the conflagration country.
Tuesday (17), it will be the turn of foreign ministers and, Wednesday, justice and home affairs ministers. The latter must discuss not one, but two migratory crises.
The first is already in full swing at the northeastern borders of the bloc: more than 4,000 immigrants, mostly Iraqis, have entered Lithuania, Latvia and Poland via Belarus, multiplying by tens the usual flows of foreigners in these regions. country.
The second is still only a threat, but it is already worrying the countries of the south: Greece, Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus fear that the Afghan collapse will cause new waves of refugees from the Mediterranean.
The conversation is of interest to everyone, but it will not be easy: immigrant and refugee policy is one of the most controversial topics among the 27 members of the European Union.
On Sunday (15), for example, Austria continued to defend its decision to deport Afghans whose asylum claims had been rejected – a position that had already been abandoned by the Netherlands, Germany, France and Denmark the week before, when it became clear that the US withdrawal had ushered in a new season of persecution.
The bloc had already felt for a few months a resumption of waves of immigrants, mainly African, after a forced truce during the pandemic.
In Greece, the refugee camps where more than 10,000 asylum seekers are waiting have not collapsed in recent years thanks to the agreement signed and renewed between the EU and Turkey.
In return for compensation, more than 3 million war refugees (mostly Syrians) have remained on Turkish territory in recent years.
Turkey’s absorption capacity is, however, exhausted, international organizations estimate, and the exodus of Afghans will not be minimal: according to the United Nations refugee agency, around 250,000 have already been forced to flee since the end. May, mainly women and children.
After the Taliban victory, other at-risk groups are expected to join the movement, such as civil society activists, journalists, writers, university professors, politicians, artists and public officials, among others. .
Turkey intends to tighten the blockades on its border with Iran to block the way for the Afghans, which would relieve the southerners a little, but the crisis in this Asian country also worries Lithuania.
On the one hand, the country had to see its urgency overcome by the new urgency coming from the south. On the other hand, he believes that Afghanistan could be a new weapon in the hands of the Belarusian dictator, Alexander Lukashenko.
To date, Lithuania records the arrival of only 83 Afghans among 4,122 foreigners who illegally crossed the Belarusian border. But in more than one speech, Lukashenko cited the Afghans among the threats he made against the bloc – and more directly against the Lithuanian government, which sheltered its main rival, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
“Western countries are spreading rot in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and we don’t have the money or the energy to contain them because of the sanctions imposed. [pela UE] on Belarus, ”he declared at the end of July.
On the 9th, he declared that he was “not blackmailing anyone with illegal immigration”, then added: “But the EU has put us in such circumstances that we are forced to react. And we react ”.
The total collapse of the Afghan government, which was not foreseen in the Lithuanian government’s response to the crisis, “represents security challenges in the world,” Lithuanian newspaper Delphi Darius Kuliesius, the principal adviser on the issue, told Lithuanian newspaper. national security of President Gitanas Nausėda.
As the EU discusses what to do, European countries outside the bloc, such as Albania and Kosovo, have agreed to temporarily host political refugees who wish to enter the United States.