Seven central European members of the European Union have rejected plans to relocate asylum seekers within their borders.
The EU has previously tried, not always with success, in spreading the numbers of asylum seekers across Europe, often in the face of strong opposition from national governments.
Poland is at the forefront of the pushback, with the government saying on Friday that has it will “not consent” to what it calls the “cultural experiment” of relocating “illegal immigrants”.
Later this summer the European Commission will unveil a new Pact on Asylum and Migration, according to EU Observer.
Poland’s interior minister, Mariusz Kamiński, together with his colleagues from Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia, have said that they will not accept any compulsory relocation of migrants, Wirtualna Polska reported.
“In March, some southern European countries, including Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Malta, sent a request to the European Commission to introduce quick, compulsory and immediate relocation of illegal immigrants who found themselves in the EU,” Kamiński said last week.
“I want to assure all Polish citizens that the Polish government clearly and strongly opposes any relocation of illegal immigrants in our country,” Kamiński said. “This is a clear, unambiguous and non-negotiable position.”
The current Law and Order government refused to take one asylum seeker from its previous quota of 7,082 under the EU’s earlier relocation scheme. The European Court of Justice ruled earlier this year that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic had failed their obligations under EU law. There have been threats from the European Commission to withhold EU funds to the rebels, although these have not been followed through. The earlier stand-off continues.
PHOTO: Poland’s interior minister, Mariusz Kamiński Polish Government