Poland wants to offer assistance to migrants in situ, says Polish Prime Minister

Poland wants to offer assistance in situ, we want to show solidarity, PM Mateusz Morawiecki declared in reference to the migration problem during a Wednesday meeting with foreign correspondents.

The PM added that Poland was taking part in initiatives aimed at supporting sites of migration and is able to do more.

Morawiecki said he had discussed the migration question with European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker in Brussels on Tuesday night. The PM stressed that Poland wants to extend its help to the places migrants come from. We must cope with this issue, for example in Libya, said Morawiecki noting at the same time that Poland had started to do so several months ago and that such support was bringing its first positive results, including a 70-percent drop in the number of refugees coming to Italy from Libya.

Among examples of assistance in situ, the PM mentioned the government's involvement in the European Investment Bank's Economic Resilience Initiative and Poland joining the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

We want to convince our EU partners that we are meeting our share of obligations regarding migration, said Morawiecki. However, he added that Poland's situation is different from that in Italy or Greece - Syria or Libya are not the only sensitive and difficult regions when it comes to migration, argued the PM.

In this sense, the PM referred to the high number of migrants coming from Ukraine to Poland. He noted that some 1.5 million Ukrainians now live in Poland, of which an estimated 5 percent have come from the Donbas region.

Poland has earmarked EUR 50 million for cooperation within the European Investment Bank's initiative and over EUR 7 million for the Trust Fund for Africa, whose key beneficiaries are North African countries.

At the end of December, PM Morawiecki together with other Visegrad Group PMs met with with the Italian PM, Paolo Gentiloni, and EC President Jean Claude-Juncker. During the meeting, the Visegrad countries (Poland, the Czech Repulbic, Slovakia and Hungary) announced EUR 35 million to support Italy in the implementation of projects aimed at stemming illegal migration from Libya.