Communication from the Ministry of the Interior and Administration
According to the Ministry of the Interior, the European Commission did not respond in a satisfactory manner to the Polish arguments related to guaranteeing security to our citizens. We sustain our position on the relocation mechanism and we think that it is wrong and threatens security.
The Ministry examines the letter sent by the European Commission. However, we may preliminarily assess, that the Commission did not take account of our arguments. We pointed to the system deficiencies in the mechanism of executing the decision on relocation which do not allow to provide the adequate security guarantees.
The European Commission believes that both decisions provide the sufficient verification mechanisms. In our opinion, this statement is untrue – from the first moment of the decision’s validity, almost all Member States clearly indicated the significant shortcomings and intentional action of Italy making it impossible to carry out an effective verification of applicants. The Polish liaison officer, delegated to Italy, was prevented from carrying out direct interrogations and verifications in relation to the candidates for relocation from Italy. Therefore, Poland was deprived of a basic measure to assess the credibility of applicants.
We do not agree to exceeding the EC’s Treaty rights to interfere in the national powers with regard to security, integration and social issues. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) unanimously confirms that national security remains under the sole responsibility of each Member State. Also the Court of Justice has repeatedly pointed out that the Member States are obliged to take measures aimed at guaranteeing their internal and external security and that only the Member States are competent in the field of maintaining public order and guaranteeing internal security. Thus, the security policy is an obligation of the individual states and not of the Community policy.
In addition, from the EC opinion we may conclude that our argument about creating of the pull factor by these decisions has been understated. We wonder why the EC has not referred to this argument, although it constantly claims that the crisis is going on and further relocation measures are required.
We sustain our argument on the issue of so-called secondary movements. The top-down imposition of the state to which relocated persons are sent often against their will, is a reason for which some of these persons will move to other Member States. This procedure is still going on that applicants treat relocations as a tool for achieving international protection, and then going to a destination country. Such movement is caused by differences in the living standard in the individual states, e.g. applying to labour markets, access to housing or the amount of social benefits.
We are also surprised by the manner of correspondence with Poland. The deadlines imposed on Poland differ from those usually adopted, which results in certain shortcomings indicated previously in the answers from the European Commission. Here, we can see a certain analogy to the haste in adopting relocation decisions which are clearly encumbered with numerous errors resulting from this hasty manner.
Despite the imposition of the accelerated manner of proceeding by the Commission, Poland will appropriately respond to the EC position, by consistently stressing our reasons as indicated at an earlier stage. Once again, we will raise these arguments to which the Commission so far has not given a satisfactory answer or has not answered them at all. The responsibility of the Polish Government is to definitely protect the Polish citizens from wrong, thoughtlessly imposed solutions which will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the level of state security.
We remain in contact with our Czech and Hungarian partners, who also received today a justification for the opinion. We will consider together what steps will be most appropriate for us at this moment.