epa10395866 Ukrainians at Polish reception for Orthodox |christmas in Białystok, eastern Poland EPA-EFE/Artur Reszko POLAND OUT


Poland accuses EU of ‘miserly’ support over Ukrainian refugee crisis


Poland is pressing for revisions to the European Union budget to increase funds it is allocated for coping with the Ukrainian refugee crisis, citing the amount of help given to Turkey over the Syrian refugee situation there.

Speaking to reporters on June 30, Polish President, Andrzej Duda, criticised the European Commission and the EU for its ‘miserly’ support over Ukrainian refugees, contrasting it to that given to Turkey. “I don’t understand why the European Commission and European institutions spent billions of euros to help Turkey when it took in a million Syrian migrants, but they were unwilling to help Poland which took in millions of refugees from Ukraine,” he said.

On June 29, at a major EU summit in Brussels where issues including migration were being discussed, Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, called on the EC to provide more cash from the EU’s revised budget for 2021-2027 to help the country support refugees from Ukraine. He wants the additional aid to be included in the EU summit’s conclusions.

Poland estimates it is home to three million Ukrainians, including those who arrived before the start of the ongoing war with Russia.

As part of its dispute with the EC – and Germany – over the proposed EU Migration Pact, Poland’s ruling Conservatives say the country had only received about €100 per Ukrainian refugee from EU funds. They have contrasted this to the penalty envisaged for the non-admission of illegal migrants to be resettled under the Pact, which is proposed at €22,000 per head. Poland considers this to be a discriminatory anomaly in the EU’s approach to the issue of migration.

The wrangling over EU budget revisions has thrown up another bone of contention between Poland and the EC; the Polish Government is in dispute over the blocking of its post-pandemic EU funds. The EC has delayed the payment of those until Poland finalises changes to its procedures with regard to disciplinary proceedings against judges.

Sources close to the government say Poland has hardened its stance over the EC because of what it sees as its ‘unfair treatment’ in the rule-of-law dispute and its ‘geopolitically illiterate’ failure to offer Poland adequate support in coping with the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

The ruling Conservatives suspect that the perceived reluctance to support Poland stems from an EC desire to help the liberal opposition leader, Donald Tusk, a former president of the European Council, in his bid for power at this autumn’s Polish national elections.

Domestic politics are a factor in the disputes with the EC. The incumbent party in Poland is convinced the migration issue is a useful card to play in its election campaigning.

The EU Migration Pact is unpopular with Polish voters as it is seen as an attempt to dump an unfair proportion of illegal migrants in Central European states. Polls also indicate that voters feel the Ukrainian refugee crisis is proving too costly for Poland, both financially and socially.