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Gov’t spokesman: EU adopting Poland’s stance over migration

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 10.05.2017 15:56
The European Union is increasingly adopting Poland's wary stance on refugees, government spokesman Rafał Bochenek has said.
Gov't spokesman Rafał Bochenek. Photo: PAP/Radek PietruszkaGov't spokesman Rafał Bochenek. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Bochenek said that the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party “will never agree to the European Commission imposing any quotas" on member states obliging them to accept refugees.

He added: “Finally, the EU has taken Poland’s stance. Our position is becoming an EU position”.

Bochenek was speaking after the leader of the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party, Grzegorz Schetyna, said – announcing an apparent shift in policy – that his party is “against accepting illegal immigrants to Poland.”

When the PO party led the governing coalition up to the 2015 general elections, then-party leader and Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said Poland could take in some 10,000-12,000 refugees as part of an EU programme.

But so far Poland has not taken in a single asylum seeker from Italy and Greece as part of the plan.

Various members of the PiS government, including Prime Minister Beata Szydło, have said that Poland will not accept refugee quotas imposed by the EU.

“Prime Minister Beata Szydło was one of the first EU prime ministers to raise the matter [of resolving the migration crisis outside the EU] on the European stage,” Bochenek said on Wednesday.

“From week to week, from month to month, the arguments of Prime Minister Beata Szydło have been accepted by more and more EU member states, which is reflected in numerous conclusions adopted in European Councils,” Bochenek said.

In April the UK’s The Times daily reported that Poland could face political and financial consequences because of its government’s decision not to accept refugees.

But Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said at the time: “I do not see how it will be possible to punish Poland for anything because the migration problem … is not connected to structural funds.”

Meanwhile, Poland is supporting Hungary and Slovakia in a case against the EU refugee quotas scheme in the EU’s top court.

At a hearing which started on Wednesday, the two countries are disputing the EU’s decision to distribute migrants across the bloc.

A lawyer representing Poland told European Court of Justice judges that the EU quota framework lacks instruments to protect host countries against terrorist attacks.


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