The European Parliament has voted to put economic sanctions on Poland as the country struggles to accommodate 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees.
Poland – one of the EU’s poorest countries – has accepted 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees in two weeks since the Russian invasion began.
The number of Ukrainian refugees entering Poland rises to 1.52 million this morning https://t.co/rZgA4ttZnh
— Bloomberg (@business) March 11, 2022
This has caused enormous internal problems within the country.
For scale, when adjusted for population size, this would be the equivalent of Ireland taking more than 180,000 refugees virtually overnight.
Artem Zozulia is the president of the Ukraine Foundation, one of Poland’s biggest migrant NGOs.
“We have all the plans to respond [to a refugee crisis] but none of the money,” he said last week.
“I don’t see any money right now.”
As Poland reels from this influx of new arrivals, struggling financially to accommodate them, the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to put economic sanctions on both Hungary and Poland. 478 MEPs voted in favour, and only 155 voted against.
The European Parliament just passed a resolution demanding the European Commission imposes immediate economic sanctions on… Poland and Hungary.
478 MEPs voted for, 155 against.
Poland took in 1.4 mln refugees in 2 weeks and is struggling with the economic costs. pic.twitter.com/HGoEUdhx0G
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) March 10, 2022
The parliament declared that it was now “high time” for the European Commission to “react to the ongoing violations of the rule of law in some EU member states, which pose a danger to the European Union’s financial interests.”
The EU will deprive Poland and Hungary of billions of euros in funds, claiming that they have seized political control over the media and judiciary.
Poland and Hungary have been engaged in a bitter row with the EU for several years over allegations that the two countries are infringing on freedom of the courts and the rule of law.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) February 16, 2022
Poland and Hungary have denied the accusations, accusing the EU in return of blackmailing their countries, and saying some EU resolutions are incompatible with their constitutions and they are merely attempting to implement judicial reforms.
The Polish Prime Minister has accused the EU of "blackmail,” saying to EU President Ursula Von Der Leyen’s face that this was “unacceptable” and that “Poland will not be intimidated.”#gripthttps://t.co/2bsiksnvkj
— gript (@griptmedia) October 19, 2021