This is from Radio Poland
Poland to oppose EU asylum seeker quota plans
Poland, its Visegard partners – the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – and Spain will form a joint front against the European Commission’s plan to impose a quota on asylum seekers entering Europe, PM Ewa Kopacz said on a trip to Brussels on Thursday.
Photo: Wikimedia CommonsPhoto: Wikimedia Commons
In May the Commission proposed setting up an extraordinary programme for the 40,000 refugees in the EU from Syria and Eritrea who had made it across the Mediterranean into Italy and Greece. Poland would take in over 2,600 of them over two years.
The proposal is seen as the first step in a plan to introduce new immigration quotas across the EU and was announced in response to the mass drownings of migrants in the Mediterranean. It would apply only to migrants who have arrived in Italy and Greece since last month.
In April, interior ministers from the 28 EU countries agreed that any sharing of refugees should be voluntary, but the commission plans would make it mandatory.
“At the next sitting of the European council we will talk about the things that are also key for Poland, that is also quotas, which the Commission is trying to impose on us from above, despite the fact that at this council sitting we worked out a consensus for the final declaration’s wording in which we used the term ‘voluntary’”, Kopacz said.
The size of each countries’ intake was to have been proportional to the size of the country’s GDP and population size, as well as rate of unemployment and how many asylum seekers had been taken in over the previous five years.
The Commission’s proposal will be discussed by foreign ministers of all EU states in Luxembourg on 15 and 16 June.
France has also been critical of the quota plans, but Germany, Sweden, and Austria, which together take in most refugees in Europe along with Italy and Greece, are in favour. (jh)
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