Poland sticking to its ‘zero-refugee’ policy

No room for them in Poland. Refugees waiting to disembark in Catania, 1 July. [Orietta Scardino/EPA]

While migrant relocations reached record levels this year (peaking in June with over 3,000) Poland and Hungary remained steadfast in their refusal to participate in EU-mandated resettlement efforts. EURACTIV Poland reports.

Despite the fact that the European Commission has initiated an infringement procedure against Poland – along with the Czech Republic and Hungary – for “non-compliance with their legal obligations on relocation”, Poland is maintaining its stance – as, the Minister of the Interior and Administration, Mariusz Błaszczak, said in a letter to the European Commission on Wednesday (23 August).

In the same letter, Błaszczak informed the Commission that Poland has applied for cancellation of the infringement procedure.

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.

Błaszczak’s views on the relocation scheme have also been consistent. “Stating that the relocation system will heal the refugee problem is false, it’s a lie. EU policy is harmful, not to say suicidal, as regards open borders,” he said in May, explaining, “Poland will not accept any refugees.”

In Wednesday’s correspondence, Błaszczak repeats his position that the relocation solution is wrong and dangerous, reiterating that national safety is the sole responsibility of each EU member state.

“We do not agree to exceeding the EC’s Treaty rights to interfere in the national powers with regard to security, integration and social issues,” he wrote.

“Paris, Stockholm, Brussels, Berlin, Manchester, Barcelona. How many more European cities must be still attacked by terrorists to make European Union wake up? To make the European Commission finally admit that ‘blindly’ accepting everyone who reaches Europe’s coast is like looping a rope around Europe’s neck,” Błaszczak added.

Curiously, the upper passage only appears in the Polish version of the letter, while the one in English version is much less colourful.

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

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

Background

Further Reading

Poland defies EU over asylum seekers

Poland refused yesterday (18 May) to yield to pressure from the European Union to take in any asylum seekers under a relocation scheme despite an EU threat of legal action.

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