Polish PM to talk migrants in Berlin on February 12

21st January 2016, Comments 0 comments

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said Thursday she will visit Berlin next month to discuss Europe's record migrant crisis, an issue on which the neighbouring EU members do not see eye to eye.

"The Berlin visit is in the works. It will take place on February 12. I will notably discuss the refugee question with German Chancellor" Angela Merkel, Szydlo told reporters in Warsaw.

"The mechanisms for sharing refugees that the EU adopted do not work, and more and more EU members are realising that," she added, before meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the Polish capital.

It was Steinmeier's first visit there since Szydlo's conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party won the October general election after eight years in opposition.

The PiS has since introduced controversial reforms of the judiciary and media that prompted the EU to launch an unprecedented probe into whether the measures violate the 28-member bloc's democratic rules.

Szydlo said her government is willing "to help refugees but outside EU borders... We want to allocate funds to help refugees in camps in Turkey with the prospect of a return to their countries."

Turkey has become a hub for migrants seeking to reach Europe to flee the conflicts in Syria and elsewhere sparking Europe's worst migration crisis since World War II.

Poland's previous liberal government had in September 2015 accepted to welcome around 7,000 refugees within an EU deal to redistribute refugees from overburdened Greece and Italy.

The new government's stance has put it on a collision course with Germany, which took in 1.1 million asylum-seekers last year -- the largest group among them coming from Syria -- and has called on all EU members to accept their fair share.

Steinmeier told reporters in Warsaw that solutions to the problems facing EU should be reached "in the spirit of European solidarity".


© 2016 AFP

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