This week, at the Clingendael Institute, Vice President of the European Commission Margarítis Schinás met with Clingendael Director Monika Sie Dhian Ho, chairman of the supervisory board and former Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and experts for a private conversation titled How to respond to the use of migration as a weapon?
The 2021 Belarus crisis is the most recent example of the use of migration as a geopolitical weapon and has been a game changer in Europe in the discussion on instrumentalized migration. Spain, Greece, Poland and several Baltic states were confronted with instrumentalized migration in the past, others like Finland and Norway also prepare for the worst. Building fences along the EU external border, adopting emergency legislation, and national exercises to scale-up the reception capacity for migrants are among their responses.
Sie Dhian Ho offered Vice President Schinás the first copy of Clingendael’s latest report “Instrumentalization of Migration – A Geopolitical Perspective and Toolbox”. The publication of the report is particularly timely since the European Commission proposal for a special Regulation to deal with instances of instrumentalized migration has been one of the fastest evolving legislative proposals on asylum within the Council. Representatives of Greece, Poland and Latvia, countries who have dealt with the use of migration as a geopolitical weapon, were present at Clingendael.
"This is a new hybrid threat in which authoritarian leaders use migrants as political pawns. Europe must be more resilient than these malignant designers. We have to mix carrot and stick measures and not be afraid to be unpopular“
- said Vice President Schinás.
“States are vulnerable for the ‘weaponization of migration’ exactly because migrants are not weapons. You don’t destroy them like incoming rockets. They even have rights to enter your territory. States will have to develop a geopolitical toolbox to deal with the challenge of instrumentalized migration”
- said Clingendael Director Sie Dhian Ho.
Find the full report here.