EU ok's border reinforcement funding for Poland, Baltics

Wiktor Dąbrowski/PAP

Poland and the Baltic states will receive EUR 25 million in EU funding to strengthen their eastern borders following an about-face by Brussels on money for border security.

The funding has been included in the EU's 2022 budget, passed in November, despite the European Commission earlier opposing such a move. Ursula von der Leyen, the commission’s president, said at the time that EU funding should not be used "to erect walls."

According to PAP's EU sources, the EU Council and the European Parliament, which decide about the budget, allowed the funding owing to the border crisis affecting Poland and the Baltic states.

The European Parliament’s budget commission head, Johan Van Overtveldt, said after the budget vote that there are no regulations expressly forbidding the use of EU funding for border safety.

Poland and some Baltic states have been tackling migratory pressure on their borders with Belarus since the spring, and have accused Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, of orchestrating the crisis in retaliation for EU sanctions.

Poland was one of 12 EU members to sign a letter to the EU requesting border reinforcement funding.