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Dublin III: France and Germany sending Belarus’ migrants back to Poland

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Poland – The Polish daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported on 12 December that the 2013 Dublin III Regulation on the member states responsible for examining asylum applications was now being strictly applied to Poland.

The issue is about migrants mainly of Afghan and Iraqi origin who have entered the European Union via Poland from neighbouring Belarus. Last year, Belarus opened a migration route from the Middle East in a bid to destabilise Poland and Lithuania, and through them the whole European Union, in what was seen by the two NATO eastern flank countries as a hybrid war piloted from Moscow. Middle Eastern, Asian and African migrants who flew to Belarus were not aiming for Poland and Lithuania but further to the west, and most of those who managed to cross the Polish–Belarusian border continued their journey to Western Europe.

As of 12 December, Germany and France had sent respectively 70 and 6 of those migrants back to Poland. This is because of the Dublin III EU regulation, which makes the first member state through which a migrant enters the EU responsible for any asylum application filed by that migrant on EU territory. Due to the massive influx of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war, Poland had previously obtained from other EU countries a temporary suspension of these deportations until the end of July.

The total number of such returns to Poland could now reach several thousand cases. However, such deportations are very much illusory, given the functioning of the Schengen area and the ability of the migrants to cross EU internal national borders without being controlled. It has been reported that some of the migrants returned to Poland by Germany have already left Poland once again.