The Brussels assessment of the refusal by Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to accept refugees, as well as the possible subsequent punishment of these countries deepens the crisis in the EU. Warsaw does not agree to the forced distribution of refugees and is ready to defend its position in the EU court, as stated by the Polish Foreign Ministry in response to the decision of the European Commission.
"This decision distances us from preparing joint actions in the issue of migration policy and deepens the division within the EU. But Poland is ready to defend its position in the EU court of Justice,” the Ministry said.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that Poland demonstrated European solidarity in the matter of the migration crisis, especially by actively taking part in protecting the external borders of the EU and by systematically strengthening its humanitarian assistance in the conflict regions.
Warsaw reported that in 2016, Poland sent 433 of its border guards to the operations of the European Agency for the Protection of External Borders of the EU (FRONTEX) and allocated more than 118 million zloty or about 32 million USD for humanitarian assistance in Syria and Iraq.
As noted in the Polish Foreign Ministry, the country plays a "stabilizing role" on the eastern border of the EU. "In 2016, [Poland] took more than a million migrants and refugees from Ukraine across the eastern border, significantly reducing the migration pressure from these countries to other EU countries," the Ministry stressed.
The Polish diplomatic department also drew attention to the fact that as of today, none of the EU countries has fully fulfilled its obligations to implement the EU decision of 2015 on the distribution of refugees.
In autumn of 2015, the EU decided to distribute 160,000 refugees among its member nations. Since then, only 12% of the refugees have been relocated. "We insist on the position that the migration policy is the prerogative of each country," the Polish Foreign Ministry said.
On Tuesday, the European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos said that the European Union had begun a legal procedure that would analyze the refusal of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to accept refugees, and that could apply sanctions against these countries.
Earlier, in May, the European Union put forward an ultimatum to the three countries regarding their refugee polices. Afterwards the EU stated that the sanctions threaten primarily Poland and Hungary.