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Poland opposes ‘forced allocation’ of migrants says gov’t spokesman

Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Poland will strongly oppose any mechanisms of ‘forced allocation’ of migrants, the Polish government spokesman has said as he referred to the EU’s latest proposal aimed to help southern members of the bloc deal with the migration problem.

The European Commission (EC) suggested on Wednesday that countries that refuse to host relocated migrants should pay EUR 22,000 per migrant.

“The position of our government is unchanged here,” Piotr Mueller said on Friday. “We believe that there should be no mechanisms of forced allocation and we’ll oppose (the proposal – PAP) very strongly.”

Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia have also criticised the proposed rules, according to a PAP source.

The EC’s move has brought back the discussion on the relocation of migrants that started in 2015 in the wake of a migrant crisis in the EU. At that time, a group of countries, including Poland, refused to take part, spurring the EC to launch EU law infringement procedures against them.

According to PAP sources, the EC suggests some 30,000 migrants should be relocated from Europe’s south to other countries, with a possibility of increasing the number to 120,000.

Mariusz Kaminski, the Polish interior minister, said on Thursday that “we do not and we will not agree to forced relocation of migrants to Poland.”

Anitta Hipper, an EC spokesperson, told PAP on Friday that the EC had proposed a “mandatory solidarity” system.

Hipper said that, according to the proposal, member states would be able to decide which solidarity measures to choose, including relocation, financial or operational support, adding that EU members needed to show solidarity with countries most affected by migrant inflows.

EU ambassadors were scheduled to discuss the EC proposal later on Friday. 

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