EU prepares measures against companies involved in the smuggling of migrants

In response to Minsk’s actions, the European Commission proposed a draft regulation that would enable it to impose sanctions against transport companies involved in the smuggling of migrants into the EU.

Because of the events on the border between Belarus and the European Union, the European Commission wants to be able to impose sanctions against carriers who contribute to the delivery of potential migrants to the EU.

Draft regulations of the European Union were adopted at a meeting in Strasbourg on Tuesday, November 23. The regulations will have to be approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council in order to be adopted.

“Attempts to destabilize the EU by instrumentalizing people will not work. The European Union is united and is taking a variety of measures to resolve the situation on the EU’s external borders with Belarus,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.

What sanctions the European Commission will be able to impose on carriers

“The recent events at the border between the EU and Belarus could not have happened without certain carriers knowingly or unknowingly contributing to the exploitation of people,” said the press service of the European Commission. The draft regulation suggests the possibility of imposing restrictions on the operators of all modes of transport – land, air, water and sea, – that contribute to the illegal transportation of migrants in the EU.

It is a whole list of possible measures. In particular it could be limitation of transport operations at the EU market, suspension of the right to fly over the EU territory or render transport services inside the association. It is also a question of suspension of the right to refuel or undergo maintenance in the EU, enter its ports or transit through its territory.

If the regulation is adopted, the European Commission will be able to impose these restrictions for up to one year. This rule is extraordinary because the EU Council usually imposes sanctions unanimously.

Recall that on November 15, the EU Council expanded the regime of sanctions against Belarus. Thanks to this, the EU will be able to impose restrictions on Belarusian carriers of migrants. However, as DW reported, these sanctions can’t be applied to transport companies, such as airlines from other countries, so the European Commission drafted a regulation.