GRODNO, BELARUS - 19. NOVEMBER 2021: Die Migranten versammelten sich in einem Logistikzentrum auf der belarussischen Seite der Grenze. Weißrussland räumte ein Flüchtlingslager in der Nähe der Grenze zu Polen auf.. Creator: Djordje Kostic / All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 08. December 2021 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Save in my calendar

Böll.Global 9 | Threats and breaches of the law: The current situation on the Polish Belarus border

A series of online discussions on current international developments

The situation at the eastern EU external border with Belarus has become increasingly precarious in the past months. By driving thousands of refugees and migrants to the Polish border, Alexandr Lukaschenko has triggered a crisis intended to hit the EU where it hurts most and mask the internal repression in Belarus. Warsaw has also used the crisis to distract from the conflict with the EU over the rule of law and to portray itself as defender of the border in the media. The Polish government has declined support from Frontex, the EU border protection agency and has militarised the border by deploying troops.

While hundreds of people continue to be driven to and fro across the border in freezing temperatures in illegal push-backs, or attempt to get through border fences into Poland, approximately 2,000 are staying in emergency refugee camps on the Belarusian side. Although aid organisations and the media are prohibited from entering a declared restricted zone on Polish territory, activists and lawyers are attempting to get humanitarian and legal support to the refugees. In the meantime, at least 13 people have died under the inhuman conditions.

Layla Al-Zubaidi, Deputy Director of International Department, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung discusses the following questions with Joanna Stolarek , Director Warsaw Office; Johannes Voswinkel, Director Kiev Office; Dr. Bente Scheller, Director of Middle East and North Africa Department and David Kipp, scientist at German Institute for International and Security Affairs:

  • What is the current situation at the border?
  • What goals is Minsk pursuing with the crisis and how is the situation in Poland being instrumentalised? What are the implications for the neighbouring countries in the region?
  • How is civil society involved?
  • Where have the refugees come from and what should they expect if they have to return to their countries?
  • What rights are being violated in this crisis? What courses of action are open to Germany and the European Union, what should they do?

In this ninth issue of Böll.Global we are expanding the focus of the discussion series to include current and new global developments and contexts. Furthermore, in the future we will be including the perspectives of international experts from our range of partners and from politics and civil society, in addition to assessments from our office directors.

Contact: Louisa Reeh,

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Heinrich Böll Foundation - Headquarters Berlin
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