Posted on June 6, 2023

Poland Opposes EU Commission’s Migrant Relocation Scheme

Aleksandra Krzysztoszek, Euractiv, June 1, 2023

The Polish government will not cooperate with the forced migrant relocation scheme proposed by the Swedish Council of the EU Presidency, announced the country’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

Stockholm upheld the EU Commission’s proposal regarding the reform of the bloc’s migration and asylum system, including the relocation of 120,000 migrants a year or an equivalent of €22,000 per migrant to be paid by the countries that refuse to accept the newcomers, EU sources told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

“There will be no Poland’s consent for a compulsory relocation scheme,” a system that “has already proven absolutely ineffective and harmful,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, quoted by TVP Info. “Time to concentrate on the elementary challenges and effective tools, not pseudo-remedies,” he added.

Poland effectively managed the largest migration crisis after World War II, he said, referring to the refugee wave after the Russian invasion of Ukraine started. The country received 2 million refugees, and over 10 million crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border in sum since 24 February 2022, he noted.

The migration and asylum reform was discussed during Wednesday’s meeting of EU ambassadors. The point of departure was the Commission’s proposal, which Polish Permanent Representative Andrzej Sadoś said Poland firmly rejects.

According to PAP, he told the meeting that the proposed system does not ensure sufficient solidarity measures. Warsaw also opposes the option of financial contribution instead of accepting migrants, which Sadoś called “a punishment” for a refusal to comply.

Mandatory relocation was not, is not and will not be in the proposal, clarified Maria Malmer Stenergard, Swedish Minister of Migration. “Mandatory Solidarity is another thing,” she tweeted last week, explaining that the countries that do not want to receive asylum seekers may contribute by money or capacity building.

As learnt by the agency, the Swedish government wants to conclude the talks until July, when it relays the presidency over the EU council to Spain, whereas Germany is still hesitating whether to support the reform in its current shape.

Adopting the proposal by the EU executive would require a qualified majority among the EU member states, and it is still far from certain whether the proponents of the reform gain it.