Kaczyński: Poland did not invite refugees, has right to say ‘no’

PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński. [Piotr Drabik/Flickr]

Poland has a moral right to say ‘no’ to refugees, the country’s most powerful politician said on Saturday (1 July).

Jarosław Kaczyński, head of the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), gave his views on immigration at a party convention in Przysucha, 100 km south of Warsaw.

“We have not exploited the countries from which these refugees are coming to Europe these days, we have not used their labour force and finally we have not invited them to Europe. We have a full moral right to say ‘no’,” Kaczyński said in a speech broadcast on television.

Last month the European Commission launched a legal case against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in asylum seekers, highlighting the feud within the 28-nation bloc over how to deal with migration.

EU opens sanctions procedure against Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic over refugees

The EU launched legal action yesterday (13 June) against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in their share of refugees under a controversial solidarity plan.

Kaczyński, who has criticised the European Union’s relocation schemes for migrants on many occasions, also said that the PiS could not be accused of being anti-European, as it backed Poland’s joining the block in 2004 and now appreciates the inflow of EU funds.

“The fact that we appreciate them (the funds), does not mean that we have lost the right to various assessments, including those regarding the historical context,” Kaczyński said, adding that Poland has never received any compensation for the losses it suffered during the Second World War.

Katainen: For cohesion as well as migration, solidarity is not a one-way street

Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen reminded the Visegrád countries today (28 March) that the solidarity they expect from the EU’s cohesion policy also applies to the refugee crisis.

During his 70-minute speech, the PiS leader suggested the government increase social spending if the economic situation allows. He also said there was a need to reduce the share of foreign capital in the media sector.

Sanctioning Poland over refugees would be wrong

The European Commission is threatening Poland with financial penalties for refusing to take in refugees. But that approach misses the bigger picture, writes Bartosz Brzeziński.