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Visa scandal. Expert: trust in Polish consulates has been greatly damaged

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This matter needs to be clarified very quickly because trust in Polish consulates has been greatly damaged – said Prof. on Friday on TVN24. Maciej Duszczyk from the Center for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw. The expert noted that he was concerned about the announcement of inspections in all consulates because “it is not known whether anyone will issue visas.”

Prof. Maciej Duszczyk from the Center for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw commented on the visa scandal and the consequences of the actions taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday on TVN24. The expert emphasized an important aspect of the matter, which – in his opinion – is the presence of Poland in the structures Schengen zone.

– This matter needs to be clarified very quickly, because trust in Polish consulates has been greatly damaged – said the expert.

Read also: Visa scandal. What do we know so far?

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Prof. Maciej Duszczyk, Migration Research Center, University of WarsawTVN24

Expert on the visa scandal: the question is whether anyone will issue visas at this point

The scientist referred to announcement published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairswhich announced the dismissal of the director of the Legal and Compliance Management Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jakub Osajda, the decision to carry out an “extraordinary inspection and audit in the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all consular posts of the Republic of Poland”, as well as the decision to “terminate the contract with all outsourcing companies , which since 2011 have been entrusted with tasks related to accepting visa applications as a result of the closure of 31 offices by the decision of the then head of the ministry, Radosław Sikorski.

Professor Duszczyk pointed out that “it is good that there is a reaction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, but he was concerned about the point in the statement about inspections in all consulates. That’s good, but on the other hand there will be panic. The question is whether anyone will issue visas at this point or whether they will wait for the inspection to prepare for it – comments Duszczyk.

Read also: The Third Way wants to convene the National Security Council. Hołownia: the visa scandal is smuggling

The expert is also concerned about the provision regarding the termination of contracts with outsourcing companies. – The consul issues visas and his decision is irrefutable, but such technical support is provided by very well-verified companies that win in tenders. They must meet many different elements, because the Schengen Visa Code (…) provides for outsourcing, but it only states how it is to be done, so that outsourcing these services to various types of companies does not undermine the trust of all other member states. Let’s remember that someone who comes to Poland, for example on a Schengen visa, can leave tomorrow France, the Netherlands or another country. This must be based on the principle of trust – emphasized the researcher from the University of Warsaw.

“Two scenarios” of the visa scandal

As emphasized on TVN24 by prof. Duszczyk, the visa scandal has “two scenarios”.

– One scenario is that someone simply took money. For example, someone paid a bribe, for example five thousand dollars, for getting a visa without going through the procedure, for being registered in the Visa Information System, for example, a special system in the Schengen area, or for getting a national visa without going through the procedure. And it may be several hundred or several thousand (…). The irregularity consists in the fact that a visa was issued without following some procedure, for example whether each of them (people receiving a visa – ed.) had a background check on the secret services, whether there was no risk, whether there were confirmations regarding the language or qualifications – says a specialist from the Migration Research Center of the University of Warsaw.

Duszczyk emphasizes that the visa scandal “must be seen in the context of our membership in the Schengen area.”

– Nobody will throw us out of Schengen. No one will suspend us in Schengen, yes Germany they will introduce control (at the border – ed.) with us. But there are certain problems that visas issued by Polish institutions will be looked at in a very detailed way, for example by the French or Belgians, when someone passes through their territory, trying to get to Poland, because, for example, he has a national visa, such situation may arise. Someone will simply be pulled out of the queue, saying: Sir, Madam, you have to wait here, because we have to carefully check whether this visa was issued legally, whether it is in the system and so on. Here is the element that may be risky – said an expert from the University of Warsaw.

Sikorski comments on the visa scandal

Also on Friday, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski commented on the matterwho emphasized that you can move around Schengen without passport checks because “other countries trust that we grant citizenship, for example, only to proven people.”

Sikorski: there is no excuse for trading Polish visasTVN24

– When Poland issues a Schengen visa, a third-country citizen can travel throughout the European Union on this Polish Schengen visa. So if Poland sells a Schengen visa, it directly affects the interests of other members and vice versa, explained the former head of Polish diplomacy.

Main photo source: TVN24

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