President and Prime Minister united against Poland’s “second Lampedusa” – EURACTIV.fr

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Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced their joint position on the EU’s proposed migration and asylum reform, reiterating their strong opposition to the proposed relocation plan ahead of the next informal leaders’ summit blocks in Granada.

Like Hungary, Poland fiercely opposed the mandatory solidarity rule proposed by the European Commission and approved by the Council in July.

“Our position on forced relocation is uniform and unchanged,” Duda said at a joint conference with Morawiecki. cited by the president’s office.

The Polish government “will present a tough veto against illegal immigration to the European Council,” the Prime Minister announced.

While Morawiecki travels to Spain for a European Council meeting, Duda will attend the summit of Arraiolos Group countries in Porto, Portugal. The migration package will be discussed during these two meetings, according to the president.

EU migration reform has become a key topic of discussion in Poland’s ongoing election campaign, with the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party accusing its political opponents, mainly Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO), of of wanting to welcome thousands of irregular Muslims. migrants under pressure from the EU.

PiS often recalls the migration crisis of 2015, when the then PO government accepted the migrant quota established under the European Union’s relocation program.

When PiS came to power in 2015 and its candidate Duda won the presidential election later that year, Poland’s position changed decisively, Duda noted, adding that it had always been firmly opposed to the quota system and what he calls the forced relocation of migrants. .

“Poland fulfills its obligation to protect the EU’s national and external borders,” Duda said, referring to the more recent crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, where Poland built a barrier to prevent thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa to enter. enter the country.

“For the Commission, borders are obsolete”

Meanwhile, Duda and Morawiecki called on Poles to participate in the national referendum, which will take place at the same time as the parliamentary elections on October 15.

“Do you support the admission of thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, in accordance with the forced relocation mechanism imposed by the European bureaucracy? reads one of the referendum questions. This and other questions have been criticized by many commenters as supposedly aimed at PO and Donald Tusk.

“We are at a turning point in how Polish sovereignty and borders will be treated. For PO and the European Commission, borders are obsolete,” Morawiecki said at the conference.

He stressed that the government would never accept the demands of Berlin and Brussels, adding that “we do not want another Lampedusa in Poland.”

Contrary to what PiS says, relocation is not obligatory in the new EU migration program. The mandatory solidarity rule means that a country that does not wish to welcome asylum seekers can contribute financially or operationally to the bloc’s migration management.

The Polish government nevertheless believes that the obligation to pay money for each migrant not accepted is a form of punishment for refusing to participate in the relocation effort.

(Alexandra Krzysztoszek | Euractiv.pl)

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