The situation at the Polish-Belarusian border could bring a migration flow to Norway, Conservative (H) politician Mari Holm Lønseth says. She calls for a plan from the government.
“I call for a plan from the Minister of Justice to handle a possible migration wave to Norway,” the Conservatives’ immigration policy spokesperson, Mari Holm Lønseth, told NTB.
The demand comes in the wake of reports of the dramatic situation on the border between Poland and Belarus. It is reported that migrants and refugees are being pushed across the border into Poland by Belarusian border guards and then being pushed back to Belarus by Polish guards.
NATO believes Belarus is using migrants as a pawn in a game to put pressure on the EU and calls the actions unacceptable.
Must be prepared
According to Lønseth, Norway must be prepared for the situation in Eastern Europe to lead to a migration flow towards Norwegian borders. In a written question, she challenged Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl (SP) to explain how the government intends to handle this.
“One of the most important things we do is to facilitate for fewer people to flee and migrate. At the same time, we must be prepared here at home,” Lønseth said.
She referred to the experiences with the migrant crisis in 2015. At that time, the Conservatives took action to prepare Norway for a new wave, including reinforced contingency planning.
“Cooperation with the municipalities, good contingency plans, and close cooperation with Europe are important,” she said.
No sign of new wave
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), for its part, sees no sign that a new wave of migration is on the way.
“Norway has the lowest asylum arrival figures in almost 40 years. Quite a few more can come before we return to a normal level, and it will take a long time before our preparedness reaches its limit,” senior adviser Eirik Christophersen at the NRC told NTB.
He believes that there is little Norway can do alone to remedy the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, beyond making calls to the EU.
Norway should also show a willingness to accept more refugees and migrants from countries such as Greece, Christophersen believes.
Huitfeldt: Cynical use of vulnerable people
Christophersen believes the migrant crisis that is taking place in Eastern Europe can be a test of the EU’s asylum system.
“This is perhaps the first test that the EU lacks a division of responsibilities mechanism,” Christophersen said.
Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (AP) has previously stated that Belarus has full and complete responsibility for the flow of migrants to the borders with Poland and Lithuania.
“This crisis is due to the Belarusian authorities’ cynical use of vulnerable people as a foreign policy pressure tool,” Huitfeldt told NTB on Tuesday.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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