Poland against European Commission border agency plan
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland is against a European Commission proposal to introduce new measures to defend the EU’s common frontiers.
Witold Waszczykowski (L) and Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz (R) at the start of the European Foreign Affairs Council, Brussels. Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET
Talking to reporters in Brussels, prior to a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said that a plan to reinforce the Frontex Agency is needed, but the Commission’s concept of creating a structure that would be independent from national states is “bizarre.”
In Waszczykowski’s view, this would be an undemocratic structure. “It is also unclear to whom it would be subordinated,” he added.
The European Commission is to unveil a proposal for transforming the Frontex Agency into a new European Border and Coastguard Agency Tuesday. Under the blueprint of the proposal, the agency’s personnel could be deployed without the consent of the state concerned. Critics say that would mean handing too much sovereignty to Brussels.
Waszczykowski also said that there are no grounds for softening or lifting EU sanctions against Russia. He referred to the latest controversy on the matter following Italy’s demand last week for a discussion on extending the sanctions, which expire at the end of January.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi claims he wants such a discussion at an EU summit beginning on Thursday. Waszczykowski said if the Italian delegation took up the issue during the foreign ministers’ meeting, he would ask for an explanation.
According to Poland, the sanctions against Russia should be lifted only if the Minsk agreement on the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is fully observed. “We are waiting for the results of the elections in the Donbas region and we want to see if the Ukrainians take control of the border,” he added. (mk/pk)