The immigration policies of the European Union and Poland come across as schizophrenic because of their contradictory natures, writes Tomasz Grzegorz Grosse for nowakonfederacja.pl.
The policies strive to achieve fundamentally different aims, which are not always what the general public wants.
At recent Brussels summits European member states had hardened their stance on immigration. With the help of Frontex, they have decided to strengthen the EU’s borders. By creating immigration centers in Europe and hotspots in Africa, they seek to improve background checks on incoming migrants. These centers and methods are also meant to dissuade illegal immigrants. African countries are resisting this solution because they see these centers as permanent holding places for refugees.
This is why the European Commission’s two lawsuits against Hungary come as a surprise. The first concerns the fines that Budapest imposes on organizations assisting illegal immigrants and the second addresses claims that Hungary keeps asylum seekers for long periods of time in transition camps. The contradiction here may have a political agenda, as the EU tries to pressure Prime Minister Orbán for his opposition and criticism of the European Union.
A different example of this schizophrenia is the immigration policy of the current Polish government. On one hand, Law and Justice is well-known for its firm opposition to EU immigration and relocation policies. The main argument being the need to protect Poland from radical Islamists and the long-term dangers of a multi-cultural society.
On the other hand, the Polish government has for many months accepted immigrants from countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, which are predominantly Muslim. Law and Justice’s stance against EU policy may come across to Poles as solely populist because of this apparently “open-door” policy towards other Muslim countries.
The majority of Poles do not want a high rate of immigration from foreign cultures and can see this as betrayal. This is a dangerous precedent because society’s dissatisfaction with Law and Justice may lead to the election of a much more right leaning party.