Splits in EU could see bloc topple: Polish president
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland does not agree to the European Union ordering countries to accept "forcibly relocated" migrants, President Andrzej Duda has said, warning that splits in the bloc could bring about its collapse.
Rumen Radev and Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak
After Thursday's talks with his Bulgarian counterpart in Warsaw, Duda said the European Union’s rules of unity mean “we work together … we do not try to force other countries into acting against their will and against their people”.
"Which is why we do not agree to being dictated to, against the Polish people's will, as regards the quota system, as regards forcible relocation of people to Poland,” Duda added.
In September 2015, when an earlier government was in power in Warsaw, 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 two million people who arrived in Europe since 2015.
But after coming to power in 2015, Poland’s conservative Law and Justice party, from which Duda hails, refused to honour that commitment.
Poland now faces action from Brussels, which has threatened possible sanctions.
Speaking at a press conference after his meeting with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Duda said the future of the European Union was the main topic of talks, as Bulgaria prepares to take over the rotating presidency over the bloc at the beginning of next year.
He added that Poland and Bulgaria had “the same position” on Europe’s migration crisis.
Duda said that both countries want “preventative action”, which means protecting the European Union’s borders and sending aid to refugees and potential migrants “close to their countries”. (vb/pk)