Sunday

21st Jan 2018

Poland vows to veto British changes to EU migration rules

  • Warsaw wades in on the British immigration debate (Photo: metaphox)

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Tuesday (7 January) vowed to block any British changes to EU laws that would prevent migrant workers from having access to welfare benefits.

"If anyone, whether it is premier Cameron or anyone else, will want to change the European treaty to make this possible, Poland will veto it, today, tomorrow and forever," Tusk told reporters in Warsaw.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He acknowledged that Britain can change its national rules on migrant workers to prevent abuses.

"But it can't apply to just one national group. It must apply to all potential beneficiaries," Tusk said.

"No one has the right to single out Poles as a special group that is abusing or taking advantage," he added.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the EU treaties should be changed to allow member states to withhold child allowances and other social benefits for workers from other member states.

He singled out Poles as a large group of beneficiaries and said it had been a "monumental mistake" for Britain to open its doors in 2004 to migrant workers from central and eastern Europe, who then cashed in and sent the social benefits back home.

Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski retorted that Polish immigrants contributed "twice as much" to the British state than they claimed.

"If the British want a less-generous welfare system then they have the right to introduce that – but any changes should apply to all people living and working in the UK," he said Monday.

Cameron's rhetoric has intensified over the past few weeks ahead of 1 January when national restrictions for workers from Romania and Bulgaria had to be lifted, in line with EU law.

British tabloids carried several articles predicting a "flood" of Romanians and Bulgarians from the beginning of January.

A plane landing in London from Bucharest on 1 January was met by scores of reporters eager to count the new arrivals.

Of all Romanians who travelled that day, just one was truly a new migrant.

Catalonia prepares for rule by Skype

The two biggest parties in Catalonia have vowed to put Puigdemont back in office despite Madrid's threat to maintain direct rule.

Catalonia prepares for rule by Skype

The two biggest parties in Catalonia have vowed to put Puigdemont back in office despite Madrid's threat to maintain direct rule.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia