Poland calls on EU for fund for refugees worth billions of euros

"A majority of countries have already used funds from the previous EU financial perspective and cannot allocate significant means for assistance to war refugees," Szefernaker said. Leszek Szymański/PAP

The Polish government commissioner for refugees has said that the EU should establish a fund for war refugees from Ukraine.

"What we need is an EU fund for war refugees from Ukraine which will be worth billions of euros," Paweł Szefernaker said after a conference of his counterparts from eleven European countries. "This fund is necessary not to help Poland but to help war refugees arriving in this country," he added.

The conference, held in Warsaw on Monday, was attended by ministers from Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Also Ukraine's Ambassador to Poland, Andriy Deshchytsia, was present.

"A majority of countries have already used funds from the previous EU financial perspective and cannot allocate significant means for assistance to war refugees," Szefernaker said.

Szefernaker made the statement in connection with an EU proposal to redirect resources from Cohesion Policy funds and the Fund for European Aid for the Most Deprived (FEAD) to assist refugees escaping the Russian military aggression against Ukraine.

"Poland will make use of every cent which will be redirected," he said, adding that these means would be insufficient and that they would not make it possible to finance assistance for war refugees from Ukraine.

"I believe that the Polish postulate to call as soon as possible an EU summit to debate additional funds has won considerable support in our part of Europe, in countries neighbouring Ukraine," Szefernaker said and expressed hope that it would be held in May.