The European Commission Wants Airline That Smuggles People on Blacklist
Airlines and other carriers that help smuggle people into the EU may in the future be blacklisted. That said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the European Parliament. The plan of the EU day-to-day administration is prompted by the tensions on the border with Belarus.
Thousands of asylum seekers have been stranded there in recent weeks on the borders of Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. The Belarus regime is said to have wanted to transfer them to the EU in retaliation against European sanctions. This ‘hybrid warfare’ was made possible by, for example, airlines and travel agencies, says the committee.
According to the committee, carriers that lend themselves to such people smuggling practices must be tackled in a targeted manner. For example, the EU could restrict their activities in the union or ban them from ports and airports. They could also lose permits and licences or the right to fly, refuel, or maintain EU airspace.
Since the outbreak of the crisis on the Belarusian border, Brussels has been threatening measures against carriers and has entered into talks with them. They invariably gave in, which halted the arrival of asylum seekers to Belarus.
The EU countries are coming up with punitive measures against people and organizations involved in the conduit operation one of these days. These would include state airline Belavia. Belavia leases an essential part of its fleet from European companies, but the EU is ending that, says von der Leyen.