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    Ruling Party Leader Calls for Referendum to Determine Migrant Relocation

    Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, firmly stated that the government would never support any obligation for Poland to accept a mandatory quota of migrants. Kaczynski emphasized that the decision on this matter should be left to the Polish people through a referendum.

    During a parliamentary debate on the European Union’s relocation of migrants, Kaczynski expressed his belief that the issue at hand should be decided democratically. He announced the party’s intention to organize a referendum to address the question of mandatory migrant quotas.

    The debate centered around a draft resolution authored by PiS concerning the EU’s illegal migrant relocation mechanism. Last week, the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, composed of interior ministers representing member states, approved a new pact on migration and asylum. The proposed regulation requires EU members to accept an initial quota of 30,000 migrants from countries facing significant migration pressure, like Greece and Italy. Alternatively, countries can choose to pay around EUR 22,000 per non-admitted migrant. Despite Poland and Hungary’s opposition to these new rules, they were outvoted.

    Kaczynski highlighted Poland’s acceptance of Ukrainian war refugees as an important factor in the resolution. He noted that Poland had already welcomed several million refugees, with 1.5-2 million remaining in the country permanently. Kaczynski then pointed out that if the cost of each non-admitted migrant was multiplied by EUR 22,000, it would amount to EUR 20-30 billion. In contrast, the assistance received by Poland amounted to a mere EUR 100 per resident, which he considered an unjust and discriminatory situation.

    The PiS leader strongly criticized this discrepancy, referring to it as a “joke” and an example of “extremely outrageous discrimination.” He concluded his remarks by reiterating the party’s commitment to organizing a referendum, emphasizing the importance of the Polish people having a voice in determining the country’s stance on mandatory migrant quotas.

    These new rules have rekindled a debate that originated in 2015 during the migration crisis. At that time, some EU member states, including Poland, refused to accept mandatory relocation quotas. Consequently, the European Commission initiated infringement procedures against them under EU law. The newly approved pact is yet to be discussed in the European Parliament, adding another layer of complexity to the ongoing discussions surrounding migration laws.

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