Poland Rejects Migrants from Middle East, North Africa

"Poland is open for migration. And last year, for instance, we issued 1,267,000 visas for Ukrainians. Half of these visas were work permit… We are also open for migration not only from Ukraine but also from Belarus and other countries.

Poland Rejects Migrants from Middle East, North Africa

"Poland is open for migration. And last year, for instance, we issued 1,267,000 visas for Ukrainians. Half of these visas were work permit… We are also open for migration not only from Ukraine but also from Belarus and other countries.

07 August 2017 Monday 19:40
Poland Rejects Migrants from Middle East, North Africa

Poland is ready to accept migrants from Europe, but not from the Middle East and North Africa, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told RIA Novosti in an interview.

According to Waszczykowski, the EU migrants relocation scheme violates the European treaties.

"Poland is open for migration. And last year, for instance, we issued 1,267,000 visas for Ukrainians. Half of these visas were work permit… We are also open for migration not only from Ukraine but also from Belarus and other countries.

"Migration is the policy of the country. Process of migration is supposed to be regulated by the policy of the country. Depends on the job market, and depends on the demography. If the country needs migrants because of the lack of labor and is opening the market for the labor… And Polish government is regulating the migration policy according to these factors I mean demography and labor market," the minister added.

Since only approximately half of the Ukrainians were accepted by Poland to enter the workforce, the other half was likely admitted in accordance with the demographic requirements.

The minister did not disclose which skill or professional deficit the Ukrainians and Belarusians were filling. He neither qualified the rejection of Middle Eastern and North African migrants regarding their qualification to fill those gaps nor the implication they would not suit the demography.

“We do not want to participate in the mandatory process of relocation of migrants coming from the Middle East and Africa. We do not want to implement the decision of the European Union taken in September of 2015," Waszczykowski said.

The EU member states had adopted the solidarity plan to, among themselves, relocate 160,000 asylum-seekers from overcrowded refugee camps in Italy and Greece.

Poland, which was being led by the Civic Platform political party, agreed to take in 6,200 refugees, mainly Syrians.

But, after a parliamentary election that year, Poland's Eurosceptic Law and Justice party came to power. The new government promptly rejected the previous party's commitment to accept those migrants.

The European Commission brought a lawsuit against Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in mid-June, accusing the three countries violating the EU legislation by refusing to accept refugees under the 2015 relocation plan.

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