During Thursday’s EU members’ meeting in Brussels, an agreement was reached regarding the relocation of migrants, despite Poland’s strong opposition. The Polish government had expressed its firm disapproval of the proposed reforms, which include mandatory quotas and financial penalties for countries refusing to admit migrants.
Luxembourg, Thursday – The proposed changes in migration laws put forth by the European Union (EU) have encountered resistance from Poland, as they introduce financial penalties for refusing migrants. A high-ranking Polish government official expressed concerns about the implications of these penalties during a statement on Thursday in Luxembourg.
Bartosz Grodecki, Deputy Interior Minister of Poland, emphasized the difficulty Poles would have in accepting the financial penalties associated with refusing more migrants. He pointed out that Poland has already welcomed a significant number of Ukrainian war refugees, and it is perplexing to them why they would be required to pay for turning away additional migrants.
“We cannot simply inform the people who have already provided refuge to over a million war refugees from Ukraine that they will be financially burdened if they choose not to admit more,” Grodecki explained.
In May, Ylva Johansson, the EU Home Affairs Commissioner, presented a reform plan for the asylum and migration system to EU ambassadors. These proposals have reignited a contentious debate on migration laws that emerged in 2015 during the migration crisis. At that time, several EU member states, including Poland, rejected mandatory relocation quotas, leading to the European Commission initiating legal proceedings against them.
The current reforms seek to reintroduce mandatory quotas and impose a financial penalty of EUR 22,000 per unadmitted migrant on countries that refuse to comply. Poland, once again, voiced its opposition to these measures during the EU members’ ambassadors meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.
Grodecki made it clear that Poland would not accept the proposed reform plan, stating, “There will be no acceptance for this in Poland.”
Agreement Reached Despite Poland’s Opposition
Ministers of the Interior from the European Union member states decided yesterday in Luxembourg on the so-called “mandatory solidarity.” The focus is on the relocation of migrants arriving through the Mediterranean Sea to Italy or Malta.
Countries such as France, Germany, and Italy have shown their support for the agreement. One of the key aspects of the agreement is the concept of “mandatory solidarity.” According to Sweden’s proposal, which currently holds the EU presidency, member states will have three options: they can either accept migrants, financially contribute for the ones they refuse, or opt for operational assistance.
The next step involves negotiating this position with the European Parliament. The aim is to have the migration package implemented by the beginning of next year. It is estimated that approximately 30,000 migrants could enter the European Union annually, with Poland expected to receive around 2,000 of them.