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Migrants and refugees in Poland. Professor Maciej Duszczyk from the EU comments on the PiS government’s migration policy

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We need to think about migration policy without trying to instrumentalize this phenomenon, said Professor Maciej Duszczyk from the Center for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw in the TVN24 TVN24 program. He assessed that Poland, like the countries of southern Europe, is under “gigantic migration pressure”. “It seems to me that the EU is trying to move forward and we should not block it,” he said. He also expressed the opinion that a referendum on the relocation of migrants was an “absurd” idea. “There is no referendum on matters that are settled,” he argued.

On Thursday, before traveling to Brussels for the European Council summit, the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki presented at a press conference the plan for safe borders of the European Union, prepared by the Polish government. – We will veto the forced relocation mechanism. A Europe of secure borders is also a Europe without forced relocation, he said. He also called for limiting social benefits for people from outside the EU.

READ MORE: Morawiecki announces a “plan of safe borders”. “We need more money from the European Union for this”

Meanwhile, in an interview with “Fakty” TVN, Ylva Johansson, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, emphasized that “no one is forced to accept any migrantsAs she said, Poland “is also a country that will not be forced to make any solidarity movements towards other countries.” European Commission reacts to the words of politicians PIS regarding the reception of refugees.

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READ ALSO: Ylva Johansson on welcoming migrants

“We have a very strange discussion in Poland in which different concepts are mixed up”

– In the debate on migration, the prime minister makes a lot of mistakes, such logical ones. Migration researchers are sometimes surprised when the words refugee or economic migrant are used in a completely different sense, said Professor Maciej Duszczyk from the Center for Migration Research of the University of Warsaw on TVN24.

As he explained, “when it comes to Ukrainians, we have a specific situation – they are not refugees in the strict sense, according to the definition of the Geneva Convention, but people fleeing the war.” – I personally call people who came to Poland after February 24, 2022 war refugees, because they are not refugees who are under the Geneva Convention, they are under temporary protection, which will end next year – noted the expert.

He stressed that “mixing Ukrainians with refugees who reach the Polish-Belarusian border is wrong”, as the latter must apply for international protection, which Poland is obliged to consider. – We have a very strange discussion in Poland, in which different concepts are mixed up – he noted.

“The prime minister makes a lot of mistakes in the debate on migration, such logical ones”TVN24

‘Referendum seems absurd’

Duszczyk also referred to the government camp’s idea of ​​a referendum on the relocation of illegal migrants. On June 15, during a parliamentary debate, the PiS president Jaroslaw Kaczynski announced that such a referendum would be held.

– The referendum seems absurd. There is no referendum on matters that are resolved. Firstly, there is no forced relocation, because as I understand it, the question would be whether Poland could be forced by the European Union to accept migrants. Firstly, there is no such thing, secondly, as a person who deals with migrations, I would answer “no” to such a question. I think 99.99 percent of people would say the same as me. There is no point in holding a referendum on a matter that is settled, why spend money, why mix up electoral issues. There is no logic here as to why this referendum should be held – commented the TVN24 guest.

PiS wants a referendum on migrants

PiS wants a referendum on migrantsTVN24

He pointed out that “on the one hand, we have the instrumentalization of migration by various politicians from countries such as Tunisia, Turkey, Belarus and Russia.” – Migrations are instrumentalized because of war in Ukraine and an attempt to destabilize the European Union, for example, by what the Wagnerians are doing in Africa, driving subsequent waves of migration, but also by what Lukashenko is doing on the Polish-Belarusian border – said Professor Duszczyk. He added that “we are dealing with a different kind of instrumentalization of migration within the Member States.” – This is not a new issue, this is not an invention of Prime Minister Morawiecki or Prime Minister Kaczyński, but these are much earlier processes – he noted.

“We’re talking about people being instrumentalized,” he said. He appealed to discuss migration policy, but without instrumentalizing this process, “as it is done in Poland and other European Union Member States.” – This will not lead to anything good, and in the end Ukrainians who came to Poland looking for shelter will pay for it, migrants who look different on Polish streets will pay for it. I warn against repeating a scenario that other countries are also dealing with – warned the expert.

“We are under gigantic migratory pressure”

Professor Duszczyk noted that there are currently about 3 million refugees in Poland. – At this point, I would refrain from further liberalization of migration policy, because I believe that we must now focus on their integration. It is a matter of preparing the health service, education, labor market, offices that will serve people who, however, have slightly different cultural codes, so that we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater, so that we do not repeat the mistakes that were made in Germany, Sweden or Holland, said the expert.

He stressed that “we need to think about migration policy, but without trying to instrumentalize this phenomenon.” – Because if we instrumentalise, we focus on things such as absent relocation, and we do not talk, for example, about border procedures, about the issue of returning migrants who passed through Poland, ended up in Germany and should legally return to Poland – he pointed out.

Migrants are still camped on the Polish-Belarusian borderFacts after noon TVN24

The guest of TVN24 assessed that “we are under enormous migratory pressure”. – It seems to me that today, if Poland wanted to participate in a serious debate on migration, which is taking place at the European Council, it should cooperate with the countries of the south, because, paradoxically, we are in a very similar situation. Our challenges related to the Polish-Belarusian border are very similar to those faced by Spain, Malta or Italy – he said.

He drew attention to the statement of the European Commission, which announced that it would take innovative countermeasures in the matter of migration. – This probably means that we are planning to finance refugee centers outside the European Union. It seems to me that the Union is trying to move forward and we should not block it, he appealed.

Prof.  Duszczyk: We have to show that we are under pressure.  Then this migration pact will be beneficial for us

Expert: We have to show that we are under pressure TVN24

“We’re moving from wall to wall”

– I have the impression that we are moving from wall to wall – said the TVN24 guest. In his opinion, we should sit down at the table and think about what is in Poland’s interest as a country under migration pressure. He pointed out that there are provocations on the Polish border every day, led by Lukashenko and Putin.

– We must show in the European Union that we are under migration pressure, that this is also a problem of Germany, France and Italy – said the expert. – If we prove it, these issues of solidarity and the migration pact will be beneficial for us – he assessed.

He appealed to “step back to look at the deep interest of Poland and not try to play it only in internal politics”

Main photo source: Facts after noon TVN24

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