Brussels Bombings Not to Change EU Refugee Policy

The Brussels attacks in will not change the policy of the European Union toward refugees and will not entail the closure of the borders of the Schengen area.

A series of bomb blasts on March 22, 2016 at the airport and metro station in Brussels shocked the whole world. According to preliminary reports, at least 20 people were killed, the explosions were qualified as terrorist attacks.

Dr. Nicu Popescu, Senior Analyst and Programme Director for Russia and the Wider Europe of the European Council on Foreign Relations noted that in this historic period the number of people who want to take the way of terror is more than number of people who can prevent it. "However, - said the expert - attacks can be prevented. Moreover, it is happening constantly. But most of this information is kept out of the public, because it affects work of the security services."

According to Popescu, the attacks in Brussels will not change the policy of the European Union toward refugees and will not entail the closure of the borders of the Schengen area.
"Yes, it is a tragedy, but it is not the first act of terrorism in the European Union. And to the present days borders of the Schengen area were never closed, except, of course, those provisional measures, when, for example, for a few days border control was tightened because of the special forces operation against potential terrorists. This involves also control inside countries - whether it is Belgium or France. Do not look at this through the prism of the Schengen closing or unclosing."

The expert believes the European Union has already changed its refugee policy. "Had the terrorist attack taken place before the policy change, it would surely have become an argument in favour of a new policy," he said, "but all the necessary moves to control the flow of migrants have already been done."

"Last week, the EU migration policy entered a new phase," Popescu said. "If a year ago or even last autumn the EU policy was based on the belief that all refugees from conflict zones must be granted asylum, now the European Union has agreed with Turkey on putting in place a new system of accepting refugees, and illegal migrants to the EU will be sent to Turkey".

"The changes have taken place already and I do not think these terrorist attacks will change anything in the EU policy," Popescu stressed.

"If we are to expect any changes, this could happen in three to six months, if it turns out that the new system of cooperation with Turkey is not very efficient," the expert concluded.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.