Brussels steps up case against Poland over migrants
PR dla Zagranicy
The European Commission has stepped up its legal case against Poland over its refusal to accept migrants from states under pressure in the EU’s migration crisis.
Migrants rescued south of Italy. Photo: Irish Defence Forces/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)
The commission said it will issue a so-called reasoned opinion and give Poland as well as Hungary and the Czech Republic a month to respond.
“Despite repeated calls for action and the launch of infringement procedures by the Commission last month, these three countries remain in breach of their legal obligations and have shown disregard for their commitments to Greece, Italy and other Member States,” the commission said in a statement.
Poland and Hungary have not accepted any refugees as part of an EU programme to relocate migrants fleeing the war-torn Middle East and Africa from camps in Italy and Greece, while the Czech Republic has taken no action in nearly a year.
Ties between Warsaw and Brussels are already tense.
Procedures against Poland’s alleged “illegal” logging in the Białowieża forest are already under way and on Wednesday the commission decided to launch procedures over sweeping judicial changes.
In September 2015, EU leaders agreed that each country would accept a number of migrants over two years to alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy, which have seen the arrival of tens of thousands of people from the Middle East.
EU leaders agreed to relocate a total of about 160,000 migrants of more than 2 million people who arrived in Europe since 2015.
The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government in Warsaw has said that migrants pose a security threat.
Meanwhile, Italy is facing a surge in migrant numbers at its shores and is struggling to mitigate the crisis. It hopes to be allowed to send boats with migrants to other ports in Europe. (vb/pk)