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Elections 2023. Morawiecki at the debate: “I placed a strong veto against illegal immigration.” What did he really veto?

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“It was I who placed a strong veto against illegal immigration at the European Council,” said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during the election debate on TVP. Let us explain: the veto concerned one paragraph in the summit declaration. It has no legal significance. It did not prevent the final agreement on this matter from being blocked.

Representatives of electoral committees faced each other on Monday, October 9, in an election debate organized by state television. However, it did not take place at the TVP headquarters at ul. Woronicza in Warsaw, only in the ATM studio on Wal Miedzeszyński, away from the city center. The president of Law and Justice, Jarosław Kaczyński, refused to participate in the debate – PiS was represented by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The head of PO Donald Tusk acted as the representative of the Civic Coalition, the New Left was represented by Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, the representative of the Third Way was the leader of Poland 2050 Szymon Hołownia, the Confederation was represented by its co-chairman Krzysztof Bosak, and the Non-Party Local Government Workers – member of the board of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship Krzysztof Maj.

Mateusz Morawiecki returned to the part of the debate on migration informal summit of the European Union, which took place on Friday, October 6. In an invitation sent to its participants, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, wrote that the meeting would include “a constructive dialogue on the most urgent issues currently facing our Union, such as migration.”

During the debate, Morawiecki said: “The facts are that it is me at the European Council I placed a firm veto against illegal immigration.” Morawiecki announced such a veto before arriving in Granada.

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Let us remind you: the migration pact is a regulation adopted on June 8 by the ministers of EU member states at the Council of the European Union – with the opposition of Poland and Hungary. It introduces a solidarity mechanism, i.e. various forms of solidarity assistance for countries struggling with the problem of increasing migration from outside the European Union.

PiS argues that the European Commission is the author of the forced relocation mechanism. Meanwhile, the same Commission emphasizes that there will be no such compulsion. This results directly from the draft EU regulation, which states that the relocation of migrants from another member state is only one of three ways of participating in the solidarity mechanism – instead, countries subjected to migration pressure can be supported financially or operationally. This last form of support means, for example, sending Polish border guards to help patrol the external borders of the European Union. Moreover, contrary to the claims repeated by PiS politicians, the draft Commission regulation states that relocation is “voluntary”.

“There has never been, is not and will not be a compulsion to relocate refugees to Poland,” said Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, responsible for, among others, for migration, in an interview with the reporter of “Fakty” TVN, Michał Tracz. “Poland hosts one million refugees from Ukraine. Poland could benefit from European solidarity and will not be forced to do anything,” she assured.

As for the European Council summit in Granada: as TVN24’s Brussels correspondent Maciej Sokołowski reported, the Prime Minister’s veto concerned only the refusal to include a general, non-binding paragraph on migration to declaration from the summit. The paragraph to which Morawiecki did not agree was later adopted as declaration of the head of the Council and has no influence on work on the pact. The paragraph concerns partnerships with countries of origin; border protection; fighting human trafficking and smuggling and the instrumentalization of migration as a hybrid threat; intensification of returns. The prime minister’s veto does not mean that the migration pact has been blocked. It has only just entered negotiations with the European Parliament and the vote on it is still ahead of us.

“The political declaration after the summit did not include any provisions regarding further actions in the field of counteracting illegal migration. This happened at the request of Prime Ministers Morawiecki and Orban. Only that it was about the direction for the future, not the Migration Pact”; “Prime Minister Morawicki failed to include in his political declaration a provision on unanimity in decision-making regarding migration, which was his main political goal,” he commented. on the X platform prof. Maciej Duszczyk from the University of Warsaw.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated at the conference after the Granada summit that although Poland and Hungary expressed their opposition to the migration pact, it does not necessarily mean that the final agreement on this matter will be blocked. “Those who expressed their opposition at the ministerial level expressed their opposition at the table, but it is not possible to block a decision that will be taken by a qualified majority,” Macron said at a press conference after the summit.

And Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said: “We voted for the pact because the new rules are better than the previous ones, but I did not come with this priority. This is a debate in the spirit of old perception. Our position is different from that of Poland and Hungary for geographical reasons. These countries “They understand the Italian position, and I understand their position perfectly, and it does not harm our work.”

Main photo source: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

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