“Poland’s security is more important than imprudent decisions by European institutions,” Minister Witold Waszczykowski told Polish Radio 3’s Beata Michniewicz, referring to the EU Court of Justice’s judgment that dismissed the actions of Slovakia and Hungary regarding the relocation of 120,000 refugees.
“We still believe that this decision, dating back two years, was taken against the law and out of tune with the security situation we now have in Europe,” said the minister. “All those who arrived in Europe at the time were treated as refugees. But they are not refugees, they are illegal migrants who had started off in faraway regions. Second, it’s very difficult to establish their identities. Third, none of them wanted to come to Poland voluntarily,” observed the Polish foreign policy chief. “How come an institution like the European Union can force mass resettlement of thousands of people from one place to another in the 21st century? And worse still, to order a country like Poland to keep them by force and never let them travel around Europe. They do know where to expect better social benefits than in Poland,” said the minister.
The chief of Polish diplomacy said that Poland will argue this point when trying to convince those who endorse the latest decision by the Court of Justice. “Please consider that out of 160,000 only a quarter were actually relocated. There are many countries besides Poland that didn’t comply or that accepted marginal numbers,” he said.
Referring to the European Commission’s plan to bring a case before the Court of Justice if a country chooses not to take in any migrants, the minister stressed that we will defend ourselves. As he pointed out, Poland has been opposed to these decisions for nearly two years, and has been trying to bring the European Commission around to its point of view. Among the arguments raised by Poland he named demographics, the labour market, and Poland’s opening to a huge wave of migration from the East. “Last year we issued Ukrainians with 1.267 million visas,” noted the minister.
Asked about further steps with regard to the Court’s decision and the Commission’s announcements, Minister Witold Waszczykowski replied that we will keep fighting. “We will not implement this decision,” he underscored, adding that he will be raising the issue in all meetings he holds in the near future.
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