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EU may not respond properly to Afghan migration crisis: expert

“There is a risk that the EU Member States do not manage to coordinate their answer to the crisis,” Camille Le Coz, a Policy Analyst from the Migration Policy Institute Europe said in an interview with PolandIN, referring to the recent events in Afghanistan resulting in a wave of migrations of its citizens, frightened by the new Taliban authorities.

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When asked whether the EU is prepared for the migration crisis better than the last time, she answered that unlike during the Syrian crisis, Europe is better prepared at an operational level, but due to the division between the Member States, they might not manage to “coordinate their answer to the crisis.”

On a question, whether the humanitarian response from the EU could potentially attract increasingly more Afghan refugees to the Member States, she responded that “most of the Afghan refugees are going to Iran and Pakistan – the neighbouring countries,” pointing out that “these are the countries that are likely to host hundreds of thousands of refugees in the next weeks.”

“It is also what Europe does at its border that has implications for what Iran, Pakistan and other countries around the world that continue to host the majority of refugees will do,” Ms Le Coz said, emphasising that their reaction to the crisis will be dependent on the attitude of EU Member States.

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She was also asked whether the crisis on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border, where the Belarusian authorities “push out” migrants may affect Afghanistan’s migration crisis, causing refugees from the country to use this route to get to Europe, she answered that it is “too early to say”, adding that “however, this is something that the EU should be monitoring.”

Ms Le Coz stressed that in her opinion, the most important thing for the EU right now is to establish a proper border infrastructure on the refugees’ routes “so that people can place asylum claims” and have these claims be quickly processed.

She also stated that if granting asylum would not be possible, a “return system” should also be organised, but pointed out that she does not expect this to be the case in the Afghan crisis and that in her opinion the Member States will not send the country’s refugees back.

Click here to watch the full interview.

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