If the European Commission decides to press ahead with its proceedings, Poland is ready to defend its position in an EU court, the Polish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
A month ago, the European Commission sent so-called reasoned opinions to the authorities in Warsaw, Prague and Budapest – as part of the second stage of its “infringement procedure” - and gave 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 at the time.
On Wednesday, the Polish Foreign Ministry announced that it had forwarded its response to the commission.
The ministry said in a statement: "Poland has sent a motion to the European Commission requesting it to discontinue its ongoing infringement procedure. Should it be continued, Poland is prepared to argue its case before the Court of Justice of the European Union."
The ministry added that Poland did not agree with the logic of relocation decisions made in September 2015, but that it would continue to provide support in other areas, including by helping to protect the EU's external borders and by consistently strengthening its humanitarian commitment.
Such activities are “an expression of genuine solidarity toward our partners and constructive and well-thought-out aid whose effects do not pose a threat to the security and cohesion of the European Union," the Polish Foreign Ministry said.
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 underway and the commission has also launched 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 and Africa.
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. (str)