Refugee quotas ‘hit foundations of national sovereignty’: Polish PM
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday blasted EU proposals for refugee quotas, saying such plans “hit the very foundations of national sovereignty.”
Viktor Orban and Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw: Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara
Speaking after holding talks in Warsaw with visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Morawiecki said: "Here, in Poland, it’s we who decide who will come to Poland and who will not."
Both Poland and Hungary have taken flak from Brussels over their refusal to take in migrants under a quota system.
Morawiecki said that he and Orban “basically have exactly the same opinion on this issue."
Morawiecki told reporters: "Proposals by the European Union that impose quotas on us hit the very foundations of national sovereignty.”
In September 2015, EU leaders agreed that each country in the bloc would accept a number of migrants over two years to alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy, which have seen waves of migrants arriving from the Middle East and Africa.
EU leaders agreed to relocate about 160,000 of a total of more than 2 million migrants who arrived in Europe since 2015.
Poland’s previous government led by the Civic Platform (PO) party agreed to take in over 6,000 people.
But after coming to power in October 2015, Poland's conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government staunchly opposed the arrangement.
Orban said on Monday that he had also discussed the next EU budget with Morawiecki.
“Our positions... are close but many EU countries have completely different positions," Orban said. He added that both Poland and Hungary wanted to protect the interests of their farmers.
The Polish Minister for European Affairs, Konrad Szymański, said on Monday in Brussels that Warsaw would not accept “revolutionary” cuts in the new long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
Monday's meeting between Morawiecki and Orban was the first since the landslide victory of Orban’s Fidesz party in Hungary’s parliamentary elections. Orban last month won a third consecutive term in power.