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Polish MPs adopt resolution against EU migrant plan

15.06.2023 19:30
Polish lawmakers on Thursday adopted a declaration against the European Union’s proposed new migration package, which includes mandatory relocation of migrants among member states, according to officials.
The Polish lower house, the Sejm, in session on Thursday, June 15, 2023.
The Polish lower house, the Sejm, in session on Thursday, June 15, 2023.Twitter/Sejm of the Republic of Poland

The resolution, proposed by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, was passed by the Sejm, the lower house of Poland's parliament, in a 242-6 vote, with 34 abstentions, state news agency PAP reported.

In the document, Polish MPs said: “The Sejm of the Republic of Poland expresses its firm opposition against the attempt to introduce European Union mechanisms for mandatory relocation of illegal migrants, based on the regulations of the European Parliament and Council on asylum and migration management and on asylum procedure, as agreed by the Council of the EU on June 8, 2023, with opposition from Poland and Hungary.”

'European solidarity cannot assume the form of blackmail'

The resolution added that “European solidarity cannot assume the form of blackmail, with member states asked to submit or pay fines.”

Polish lawmakers stated that decisions “in a matter of such importance” must not be taken “outside the control of member states, or against their will, flouting the principle of unanimity.”

The document further said: “The Sejm of the Republic of Poland commits the government to demonstrating firm opposition to such practices.”  

According to the resolution, “some 7 million refugees from Ukraine have sought security in Poland” since Russia invaded their country in February last year. Of this number, "some 1.5 million remain in our country to this day," it said.

Polish lawmakers stated: “In these circumstances, attempts to additionally burden our country with the obligation to admit illegal migrants who have entered other EU member states, or to impose an obligation to pay fines, must prompt profound opposition as the adoption of the proposed measures would represent an illegal interference with the Treaty-enshrined powers of member states and could lead to an increase in the influx of illegal migrants to the EU.”

At the same time, Polish MPs supported "the provision and funding of humanitarian aid to armed-conflict zones and neighbouring countries.”

Plan for national referendum on EU migrant rules

Earlier, during a parliamentary debate, Polish ruling party leader Jarosław Kaczyński told MPs that the EU’s proposed migrant relocation plan “must be put to a vote in a national referendum.”

He said the European bloc’s new migrant relocation proposal “undermines Polish sovereignty,” as well as “the sovereignty of other EU countries.”

“It is also incompatible with EU Treaties,” he added.

Kaczyński told parliament that the EU plan requires member states to pay EUR 20,000 for every migrant they refuse to admit under the relocation scheme.

He further stated that Poland "has welcomed several million refugees from Ukraine, of which at least 1.5 million have settled permanently.” 

Kaczyński argued that "if the EU had contributed EUR 20,000 per each of them, Poland would have received up to EUR 30 billion in refugee support.”

He said: “Yet the actual assistance we have received is some EUR 100 per refugee, and that’s a generous estimate.”

 'The Polish people must have a say on this issue'

He told the house: “It’s disrespectful to Poland, an extremely brazen form of discrimination. And so we won’t accept this plan. And the Polish people won’t accept it, either. It must be put to a referendum. And we’ll hold this referendum, mark my words. The Polish people must have a say on this issue.”

‘Poland won’t be blackmailed’: PM

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki urged MPs to adopt the resolution "against the EU’s migrant relocation plan."

Morawiecki said: “Poland won’t allow commissioners from Brussels or Berlin to tell us what to do and how to protect our borders.”

He vowed: ”Poland won’t be blackmailed. We are determined to defend Polish sovereignty and security.” 

"Our borders are sacred," he declared. 

He further stated that his government was working to make Poland "safe" and "strong."

EU countries agree new migration deal

On June 8, EU interior ministers reached an agreement on a plan to overhaul the bloc’s asylum and migration procedures, the PAP news agency reported. 

Poland and Hungary voted against the new asylum and migration package, according to news outlets.

The plan will form “the basis for negotiations” between the Swedish presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, officials said.

Under the proposed migration package, EU countries would be bound by “mandatory solidarity” in migration policy, while having flexibility “as regards the choice of the individual contributions,” from admitting relocated migrants to making financial contributions, the PAP news agency reported.

The EU would commit to at least 30,000 relocations per year “from member states where most persons enter the EU to member states less exposed to such arrivals,” officials said.

Meanwhile, financial contributions from member states would be fixed at EUR 20,000 per relocation at a minimum, the PAP news agency reported.

“These figures can be increased where necessary and situations where no need for solidarity is foreseen in a given year will also be taken into account,” the European Commission said.

The plan effectively means that each EU country would have “a choice between admitting relocated migrants or making a financial contribution for every migrant it refuses to admit,” the PAP news agency reported, citing a high-ranking EU diplomat who it said took part in the negotiations.    


Source: IAR, PAP, tvpparlament.pl