Worry the use of immigration as a means of pressure will be highlighted at a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels on Thursday.
According to the draft decision seen by the HS, EU leaders condemn and want to combat attempts by third countries to use immigrants for their own political purposes.
The topic is also of interest to Finland, which has personal experience of this since 2015. At that time, Russia unexpectedly began to allow asylum seekers to the Raja-Joseph and Salla border stations. The matter was settled By the border agreement between Finland and Russia.
EU countries in Lithuania has now been observed in Junethat an increasing number of people from the Middle East have begun to enter the country through Belarus. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko thus fulfilling its threat to the EU as early as May.
“We stopped migrants and drugs – now you have to catch them yourself and treat them,” Lukashenko said at the end of May.
Read more: Finland is sending border guards to help Lithuania
Second recent example is from Spain. In May, more than ten thousand African migrants from the Moroccan side swam in the Spanish city of Ceuta in North Africa.
The background was political tensions between Spain and Morocco.
Summit Minister for Europe involved in the preparation Tytti Tuppurainen (sd) says that the use of immigrants as a means of political pressure is not in itself a new phenomenon.
“But now, for the first time, this is being talked about openly. This is a very reprehensible and disgusting phenomenon, especially as it often involves the use of minor asylum seekers as a tool for political propaganda and pressure. This must be combated, and the EU must send a strong common message that this will not happen, ”Tuppurainen said at a news conference after Tuesday’s meeting of European ministers.
According to Tuppurainen, the message is also important for Finland as an EU external border state.
Tuppurainen hopes that the member states will find a common line on how co-operation on immigration issues could be established with third countries outside the EU. According to Tuppurainen, sustainable partnerships must be established with countries of origin and transit.
The meeting will discuss, among other things, the root causes of immigration and the effectiveness of returns.
The EU has not found a solution to the Common Guidelines for Immigration Policy since the 2015 immigration crisis. The Commission adopted new proposal in September. The main differences remain over the distribution of immigrants among European countries.
Thursday and Friday’s summit is not expected to break through in the division of responsibilities. In the Commission’s proposal, an EU country can choose whether to receive its share of asylum seekers or to help countries that are most under pressure from newcomers.
EU leaders will discuss € 3.5 billion in funding for Turkey. According to diplomatic sources interviewed by the news agency Reuters, the EU would continue to support Turkey until 2024. The aid is intended to help the approximately four million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
In addition to Turkey, a total aid package of EUR 5.8 billion would go to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Funding is channeled through humanitarian projects and not to governments.
The previous EUR 6 billion grant agreement with Turkey has provoked much criticism. Many EU countries believe that Turkey has used refugees as pawns to achieve its own arbitrary goals. Turkey momentarily opened its border with Greece and threatened the EU with rejecting the agreement.
Under the original agreement, signed in 2016, Turkey promised to take back all Syrians illegally seeking to enter Greece in return for funding. The EU also promised visa facilitation to the Turks.
EU countries In addition to migration, the leaders ‘meeting will focus on the current corona situation, member states’ plans for economic recovery and the EU’s actions towards Russia.
At the previous summit At the end of May, EU leaders held a long strategic debate on Russia. At that time, the European Commission and the Union’s external relations management were commissioned to draw up a report on the basis of which the Union could point forward its relations with Russia.
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell presented the report a week ago.
“The most important thing is that the Union remains united and speaks with one voice in relation to Russia,” says Tuppurainen. According to him, Finland is satisfied with the communication prepared under the leadership of Borrell.
“The aim of the debate is not to change or update the Union’s policy towards Russia in any way, but rather to make the implementation of the current policy more effective.”
According to Tuppurainen, the recent deterioration in EU-Russia relations is not due to the EU, but to Russia.
Finland has emphasized that dialogue with Russia and co-operation on issues such as climate and the environment must continue.
According to the Financial Times German Chancellor Angela Merkel would like the EU to consider a Russian president Vladimir Putin invitation to a joint meeting with EU countries. According to newspaper sources, also the President of France Emmanuel Macron supports the idea of a joint EU-Russia meeting.
The proposal may not please all Member States who would like the EU to take a firm line in its relations with Russia.