On Thursday the Polish parliament, the Sejm, approved new measures that will allow its border guards to turn back illegal immigrants at its borders.
The authorities said the move was in response to the influx of thousands of migrants who Belarus allows to transit into the EU states across the borders which Belarus shares with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. It is claimed that people from Asia are being encouraged to come to Belarus by the neo-Stalinist regime on the promise that they will then be allowed to transit further.
This has also impacted on Lithuania and Latvia. The Latvians have set about erecting a 37km long barbed wire fence to protect its borders, while Lithuania has already fortified its border with the aid of a donation of materials from Denmark.
While the moves by the Baltic states to curb illegal immigration have been predictably condemned by the usual NGO crew, in September the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen appeared to support them and even declared that Belarus was using migration as “a hybrid attack aimed at destabilising Europe.”
The Polish legislation – still to be approved by President Duda but that is a formality – also includes a provision whereby anyone successfully illegally entering the country can be deported. That has been condemned as denying people the right to claim asylum, but Poland and the other states would appear to be well within their rights in refusing bogus claimants who have obviously transited via third countries. Poland still offers the opportunity for genuine refugees “where they have arrived from a country where their life and freedom is threatened.”
It’s perfectly reasonable to consider that ought to be the criteria governing international protection in any state. It only appears remarkable when it is enforced, as is allowed under the different EU regulations, in comparison to the promiscuous and dangerous policy set in train by former German Chancellor Merkel in 2012. That policy has now been rejected even by the former doyen of the European liberal left in the Danish Social Democratic party which has set as its objective the elimination of such asylum window shopping.
This latest move on the part of Poland comes just days after its Constitutional Court refused to accept the primacy of EU law in all aspects of life claimed to be encompassed by the various treaties that have extended the remit of EU centralisation and undermining of national sovereignty.
The Hungarian government has clearly stated that it fully supports Poland on this, and have several times, as reported previously on Gript, sought to mobilise support across all of the EU member states both within and without of current governing parties, for the defence of national sovereignty in the face of ideologically driven decrees that have nothing at all to do with the initial objectives of the Union.
The attempt to force compliance on everything from migration to transgenderism is not based on any democratic foundation and makes a nonsense of the fundamental European Union principle of subsidiarity which implicitly rejects such centralisation of decision-making on issues that ought to be left to the decision of the citizens of each constituent state.
The reaction of the Commission to all of this will be interesting. It will most likely await the formal signing into law by President Duda. While it might be predicted to be hostile, the Commission is in a bit of a bind given von der Leyen and others references to the manipulation of migration by Belarus with the backing of Moscow.
Of course, the liberal left have not paused in its criticism for one second, nor have the mainstream media which was curiously effusive in its coverage of a recent pro-EU rally organised by opposition forces in Poland, who are serial election losers. Poland can continue to be cast as the malign enemy of all that is Woke in Europe.
Many more Europeans will be pleased that at least some of the democratic governments are reflecting the concerns of their own people. From a Polish perspective, in the year in which they recall the crushing of their country between the Nazi and Communist alliance in 1939, they are unlikely to be hoodwinked by platitudes from people in the west – especially on the left – who think they know what is best for them.