Matt Drake, Express, August 7, 2017
Poland has announced that it is willing to accept migrants from Europe, but not the Middle East or Africa.
In 2015, EU member states adopted a solidarity plan to relocate 160,000 asylum-seekers from refugee camps in Italy and Greece.
The ruling party in Poland at the time, Civic Reform, agreed to take in 6,200 refugees.
However, there was a parliamentary election that year which took place during the migration crisis and the Eurosceptic party, Law and Justice, was elected.
In an interview with RIA Novosti, foreign minister Witold Waszcykowski said that the relocation scheme violates European treaties.
He said: “Poland is open for migration. And last year for instance we issued 1,267,000 visas for Ukrainians. Half of these visas were work permits.
“We are also open for migration not only from Ukraine but also from Belarus and other countries.
“We do not want to participate in the mandatory process of relocation of migrants coming from the Middle East and Africa.
“We do not want to implement the decision of the European Union taken in September of 2015.”
The European Union population has reached almost 512 million and the ongoing migration crisis has contributed to an increase of almost 1.5 million in 2016.
In mid-June, the European Commission brought a lawsuit against Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary for refusing to accept refugees and violating EU legislation.
The Law and Justice party said that they were “delighted” with the legal challenge.
This is the latest stand-off between the Law and Justice party and the EU. In July the party proposed a controversial bill which allows the firing of its current supreme court judges, except those chosen by the justice minister.
The eurosceptic Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the EU targeted Poland in an attempt to weaken the member state.