So far 1.7 million Ukrainians have entered Polish territory
The Government of Warsaw has in the past been one of the most reluctant to accept refugees from the Middle East
The Polish Minister of Family and Social Policy, Marlena Malag, has called for the “solidarity” of all the countries of the European Union (EU) before the arrival of Ukrainian refugees to the community club and not only that of the States close to the border of the former soviet republic. The policy has indicated that if, as is already happening, the Russian attacks extend to Lviv, in the western area of Ukraine, Poland expects it to arrive on its territory “even a larger number of people.”
“We know that these people who will come will be less wealthy, will need more financial support, so support and cooperation based onn the solidarity of all Member Statesnot only of those who are on the front line, it will be essential”, declared Malag during the meeting of Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs of the Twenty-seven that is being held today in Brussels.
At that meeting, the countries discussed the efforts they are making to welcome and integrate refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, and the Commission presented its proposal to relax the rules in order to allow Member States allocate cohesion funds to help those fleeing the armed conflict.
Poland, along with Hungary and the Czech Republic, has in the past been one of the most reluctant countries to receive immigrants from the Middle East or North Africa on its territory. However, in the face of the war in Ukraine, it has focused on welcoming those who arrive from the neighboring country and, for the time being, 1.7 million Ukrainians have entered Poland, according to the minister. “The situation we see changes the rules of the game, it redefines history, we are facing a new challenge and I don’t think there is a more important challenge than solidarity with Ukraine,” she asserted.
The Czech Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Marian Jurecka, has stated that he is not in favor of imposing compulsory quotas to distribute refugees among the member states, an option that Prague did not like in the past. “But I would appeal to other member states as well, to Germany, France, Spain, Italy and other Western countries in the European Union, so that they clearly demonstrate to Ukrainian citizens fleeing from the war who are willing to help them, to offer them social and health assistance and access to educational systems and the labor market, as we are all doing in the countries where war refugees are arriving”, he pointed out. He also called for a specific financial package to deal with the refugee crisis.
On Friday, the social affairs ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Romania, geographically closer to Russia, signed a declaration committing to cooperate in providing assistance to refugees.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.