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Poland voices opposition to EU migration deal, citing border challenges

04.03.2024 12:30
Poland has voiced its concerns over the European Union's migration deal, emphasizing the country's unique geographical challenges due to its borders with Ukraine and Belarus.
Marcin Kierwiński
Marcin Kierwiński Wojciech Kusiński/Polskie Radio

Polish Interior and Administration Minister Marcin Kierwiński, speaking on Monday in Brussels ahead of a meeting of the EU's Justice and Home Affairs Council, said that "the current proposals of the migration pact fail to adequately consider Poland's specific situation."

Kierwiński added that the situation at the Polish-Belarusian border required "bespoke solutions" as part of the pact.

"The uniqueness of our border situation, especially with regard to Belarus, demands that any migration pact should address our specific needs," Kierwiński stated.

He told reporters that the Polish government aimed to negotiate a more tailored approach in Brussels, aiming for exemptions from the pact's mechanisms.

Poland, having taken in a significant number of refugees from Ukraine, seeks recognition of its contributions and a more individualized treatment in the migration pact discussions, according to Kierwiński.

"Our primary goal is to secure an exemption, acknowledging our substantial support to Ukraine amid the refugee crisis," he said.

A contentious part of the EU migration pact is what some call the mandatory solidarity rule, which mandates member states to host migrants or, alternatively, pay a fee of around EUR 20,000 per person not admitted, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

This rule is part of a broader migration and asylum reform proposed by the European Commission in 2016, which faced delays due to opposition from several countries, including Poland.

The deadlock was eventually broken by moving away from a unanimous to a majority voting system, allowing the EU to adopt a negotiation stance with the European Parliament by the end of last year.

Meanwhile, the Polish Border Guard on Monday reported 151 attempts at illegal crossing from Belarus into Poland over the weekend.

The majority of these attempts were in Poland's eastern Podlaskie province, with migrants often retreating upon encountering Polish patrols, according to officials.


Source: PAP, IAR