Justice minister attacks EU over child repatriation laws
Poland’s justice minister has accused the EU of “stretching out dirty hands” to take Polish children caught up in disputes between foreign fathers and Polish mothers.
Zbigniew Ziobro's claim came in response to the EU's demands for changes to border laws to prevent the removal to Poland of children from mixed foreign-Polish families in suspected parental negligence cases.
The minister, who is well known for his strident criticism of the EU, criticised especially Didier Reynders, the EU justice commissioner, for a 47-page letter to the Polish authorities, in which he launched an EU law violation procedure against Poland, and demanded changes to Polish border traffic laws preventing parents charged with parental negligence or abuse from moving the children to Poland.
In his response to Reynders' letter, Ziobro accused the EU of "stretching out its dirty hands for Polish children" and said there were many cases of foreign welfare authorities taking children away from Polish parents, mainly mothers, who were planning to return with them to Poland.
"Not so long ago, in situations where the woman and child were the subject of persecution and various forms of oppression, and the mother tried to save herself and the child by returning to Poland, these children were automatically removed from the care of their Polish mothers," the minister said.
Ziobro criticised the EU's demands and said Poland's current laws offered "incomparably greater protection for Polish mothers."