The European Union is so dedicated to the relocation of Muslim refugees from the Middle East to Europe that it is threatening members who don’t participate with economic sanctions. Poland answered the threat with a defiant message.
EU members Poland and Hungary didn’t accept one refugee according to the legally binding agreement they made in 2015 to take in 160,000 refugees across the bloc.
The Czech Republic only took in 12 refugees since 2016.
“I am for launching infringement proceedings — not to make a threat,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Der Speigel, “but to make clear that decisions that have been made are applicable law, even if you have voted against it.”
Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said, “Security policy is a national, not European, competence,” in response.
The Polish ministry released a statement defending its defiance of the order to take in migrants.
“In 2016, alone Poland seconded 433 Border Guard officers to take part in joint operations coordinated by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, including a 227-strong deployment in Greece,” the statement read.
“Poland also draws attention to its involvement and stabilising role along the EU’s eastern border,” the statement continued. “In 2016, Poland took in over a million migrants and refugees from Ukraine and the East, thus easing the migrant pressure on other EU countries.”
“We would also like to emphasise that no EU member state has so far fulfilled its commitments stemming from the 2015 relocation decisions,” it said. “We reiterate our position that migration policy falls within the competence of nation states.”
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban responded similarly to threats of economic sanctions from the EU, saying that they “will not give in to blackmail from Brussels and we reject the mandatory relocation quota.”