PM sees EU unity against open-door migration policy

Poland's prime minister has told Germany's DPA news agency that most EU countries agree the bloc cannot have an open-door policy on migration.

Poland has been tackling a migration crisis at its border with Belarus for several months, blaming Minsk for deliberately creating the situation in retaliation for sanctions imposed on it by Brussels.

"Most EU countries, with the exception of one or two, have understood that we cannot have an open-door policy and multiculturalism," Morawiecki told DPA.

Referring to the opening of borders during the 2015 migration crisis, Morawiecki said: "The earlier refugee policy turned out to be a mistake."

The Polish prime minister also rejected the notion of a common EU asylum policy, arguing it should be the remit of individual member states.

DPA wrote that Morawiecki had renewed his offer of co-financing the repatriation of refugees from Belarus, but "underscored that the EU as a whole has such an obligation." DPA pointed out that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had talked about earmarking EUR 3.5 million for that end.

Morawiecki once again rejected the assistance of Frontex, the EU border and coast guard agency, in securing Poland's borders.

"We have 15,000 Border Guard officers, and Frontex has up to 1,200 border and coast guard officers at all the European Union's external borders," he said, adding that a further 15,000 Polish troops could be brought in. "So our border is quite secure."

Morawiecki expressed satisfaction at the EU's engagement in seeking a diplomatic solution to the border crisis, but argued that "when Chancellor (of Germany, Angela - PAP) Merkel phoned (Alexander- PAP) Lukashenko, it contributed to the legitimisation of his regime, while the fight for a free Belarus has lasted for 15 months already."

Merkel called the Belarusian president twice in mid-November, for which she was criticised both at home and abroad. In the DPA interview, Morawiecki accused Lukashenko of exploiting the phone calls for his own objectives.

"He behaved as if Merkel had agreed to the transport of 2,000 migrants through a corridor to Germany and other European countries," he said. "And that is not right."