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Poland 'won't accept' EU migrant quotas, says Tusk

Trent Murray

"The EU will not impose any migrant quotas on us," said Tusk. /Kacper Pempel/Reuters/File

"The EU will not impose any migrant quotas on us," said Tusk. /Kacper Pempel/Reuters/File

The Polish Government has pushed back against the European Union's new set of asylum laws which aims to increase the distribution of migrants between members of the 27-country bloc.

Speaking at a news conference after a meeting of his cabinet, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Warsaw won't have quotas forced on his country by Brussels.

"Poland will be a beneficiary of the (new) migration pact," he said.

"We will not pay for anything, we will not have to accept any migrants from other directions. The EU will not impose any migrant quotas on us," he added.

Landmark migration deal passed

His announcement comes after the ten legislative acts which make up the EU's Asylum and Migration Pact were adopted by member states on Tuesday.

"The asylum and migration pact will ensure a fairer and stronger migration system that makes a concrete difference on the ground," said Nicole de Moor, Belgian State Secretary for Asylum and Migration.

"These new rules will make the European asylum system more effective and increase solidarity between member states," she added.

The pact is expected to come into force in 2026

Disagreement remains

‌Poland and Hungary have long remained strong critics of the deal, and both voted against all the measures. But under so-called qualified majority rules, the deal was able to pass with enough support from other EU countries.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia abstained on the vote.

Supporters of the law say the changes aim to cut the times for security and asylum procedures at external EU borders and increase returns to reduce unwanted immigration from the Middle East and Africa.

"The European Union will also continue its close cooperation with third countries to tackle the root causes of irregular migration. Only jointly can we find responses to the global migration challenge," said De Moor.


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Building walls

Prime Minister Tusk, who served as President of the European Council from 2014 to 2019, has also signaled his country will fortify border fences along its frontier with neighboring Belarus, which he has accused of using migrants as part of a "hybrid war" campaign.

"The Polish-Belarusian border is a unique place due to the pressure of illegal immigration. In fact, we are dealing with a progressing hybrid war," Tusk said during a recent visit to the border.

"I want there to be no doubts here - a country with increasingly aggressive intentions towards Poland, such as Belarus, is co-organizing this practice on the Polish border."

Poland 'won't accept' EU migrant quotas, says Tusk

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