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Poland’s state of emergency on Belarus border to lapse


Poland’s state of emergency on Belarus border to lapse

Polands state of emergency on Belarus border to lapse
Photo: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Poland’s state of emergency on their border with Belarus is scheduled to expire today.

Poland enacted a state of emergency on September 2 in response to an influx of migrants crossing the border. Movement is restricted along the border region, with heightened patrols and new border infrastructure being deployed.

Poland, along with Lithuania and Latvia, believes Belarus is sending over migrants in an act of hybrid warfare in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed on Minsk for its human rights abuses. However, Poland’s ruling right-wing Law and Justice party has been criticized for its harsh measures after the recent death of five migrants on the frontier. The government, however, justifies its actions, citing national security threats from terrorism, and is supported by the population.

Expect Poland to extend their state of emergency for a further two months. This will likely increase an already present anti-immigration sentiment in Eastern Europe.  The crackdown is popular with the public, and short-term the Law and Justice party will likely receive a boost in the polls similar to 2015. Medium to long-term, more deaths may lead the EU to block funding to Poland as punishment for inhumane migrant treatment, creating discord within the bloc.

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