Poland demands that relocation of migrants should be purely voluntary

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Poland will continue to oppose the European Union’s proposed migration pact in its current form and insist that the bloc returns to the principle of voluntary relocation of migrants, the country’s ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, has signaled.

Sadoś will reaffirm the Polish position at a summit in Granada, Spain, on Friday, and is expected to remind attendees that earlier EU summits in 2016, 2018, and 2019 all reached agreement on voluntary relocation and called for decisions on migration to be taken by consensus rather than qualified majority voting (QMV).

Warsaw wants the conclusions of Friday’s summit to acknowledge that Europe is under “hybrid attack,” that the EU’s reaction should be immediate, and that the countries affected should be helped. However, solidarity should not entail compulsory relocation of migrants.

Poland’s ambassador to the EU also said that his country would be pressing for defense spending to be excluded from the EU’s fiscal limits and for the EU’s climate policies to be socially just. 

According to EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johansson countries are able to avoid the relocation mechanism if they demonstrate their solidarity in other ways acceptable to the European Commission. The discretionary nature of that mechanism has been rejected by both Poland and Hungary. 

All polling carried out on the matter in Poland indicates that voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the relocation of illegal migrants.

In the campaign ahead of Poland’s general election on Oct. 15, only one party has come out in favor of compulsory relocation. That party is the Left. The parties of the right are firmly opposed, while the former ruling liberal Civic Platform (PO) has argued that Poland could easily get an exemption from the need to relocate migrants because of the large number of Ukrainian refugees the country has accommodated over the past 18 months. 

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