Poland is not bowing to the EU when it comes to accepting refugees. They are standing their ground, despite the threat of legal action from the EU against countries who don’t reach a certain quota.
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said they “cannot accept refugees” and reiterated that there has not been a formal agreement when it comes to quotas. In fact, Hungary and Poland both voted against said quotas.
“A critical attitude towards the mechanism of migrant relocation is becoming increasingly widespread in the European Union,” she continued, “Poland cannot accept refugees.”
Good for them! Standing up against the big bad government in order to do what is best for their people and their country.
European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos claimed in response to Poland and Hungary’s refusal to accept the refugees, “This cannot be the responsibility of just a few member states – this must be shared be all.”
In September 2015, EU states committed to relocating up to 160,000 refugees from overcrowded camps in Greece and Italy countries within two years – later lowering the target – but the total is on track to hit less than 40,000 by its deadline.
But fewer than 18,500 people have been resettled so far and while Poland has been assigned 6,200 refugees, none have been admitted.
Austria has finally pledged to accept eligible asylum seekers from Italy, but the EU has warned Poland and Hungary that they have until June to start accepting refugees or face sanctions.
“I call on Poland and Hungary who have not relocated a single person … to start doing so right now,” Avramopoulos continued, “If no action is taken by them before the next report in June, the Commission will not hesitate to make use of its powers under the treaties and to open infringement procedures.”
Despite the pressure, Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has also stuck by Poland’s decision.