Expressen's editorial board believes that the EU has handled the migrant crisis in Belarus correctly, while the environmentalist and EU parliamentarian Alice Bah Kuhnke believes that the EU has a moral obligation to help the refugees. Photo: Canva.

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Week 46: Divided views on EU responsibility for the migrant crisis in Belarus

A hot topic in last week's debate was the ongoing migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. Some debaters emphasize the importance of resisting pressure from the Belarusian dictatorship and preventing a recurrence of the refugee crisis in 2015. At the same time, other voices are raising the EU's moral responsibility towards migrants.

Expressen's editorial staff believes that the EU has handled the migrant crisis in Belarus properly. Through measures such as reduced air traffic from the Middle East to Minsk, pressure on Iraq to repatriate its citizens and further sanctions against Belarus, the message is clear that it does not intend to give in to the pressure of the Belarusian dictatorship. At the same time, the editorial board believes that the EU could have acted faster and thus reduced the human suffering of the refugees, who are now threatened by both famine and winter cold.

The author Artur Szulc highlights Polish history as another reason why the country's population and leaders are so careful not to give in to pressure from Belarus. In Göteborgs-Posten, Szulc describes how Poland's harsh protection of its borders can not only be explained by a strong opinion or policy against immigration, but rather by a deep-rooted desire to maintain its independence and freedom as a state. During the last century's wars and conflicts, the Polish nation has been severely tried and re-examined, among other things through newly drawn national borders. Belarusian refugee flows are therefore becoming a security policy threat where the protection of national borders is considered necessary.

The EU parliamentarian and the environmentalist Alice Bah Kuhnke considers for its part, that the situation in Belarus is primarily a humanitarian issue. In a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet, she writes that the EU has both resources and a moral obligation to help migrants.

- We can not let the union's disagreement cost more people their lives at the borders, she writes.

This is something the lead writer Rebecka Bohlin at Dagens ETC agrees with. She describes it is inhumane that migrants are stuck in a situation where Poland does not let them inside the EU's borders while Belarus prevents them from returning. 

- Asylum applications from thousands of migrants would definitely be manageable - with a different policy, Bohlin writes.

The migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border

Build walls to stop Putin
The editorial staff, Expressen

Artur Szulc: Poland's border is sacred
Artur Szulc, Gothenburg Post

"The EU can and should receive the refugees"

Alice Bah Kuhnke (MP), Svenska Dagbladet

Rebecka Bohlin: We need migration - if the whole of Sweden is to live

Rebecka Bohlin, Today's ETC


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