Warsaw, 24th August 2021
Statement of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers regarding the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border
Over the last week or so, the Polish public debate has been dominated by the discussion about a group of several dozen people camping on the Belarusian side of the border with Poland. It is not the task of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers to conduct an in-depth analysis of this difficult situation, but everything indicates that it is the result of the scenario planned and implemented by the Belarusian regime. The government of the Republic of Belarus welcomed immigrants from the Middle East and countries neighbouring with the region, and then directed them to the external borders of the European Union in order to destabilise the situation in neighbouring countries. A similar scenario was repeated in other EU member states.
As we have mentioned above, we are not experts in matters related to state security. However, the heat of the dispute along with its very nature are sources, in our opinion, of far-reaching risks for a discussion on another issue, very important from the point of view of the future of Poland. The consultations have recently ended regarding the country’s long-awaited demographic strategy indicating the main directions of institutional and regulatory changes in the field of admitting foreigners to Poland.
The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers has repeatedly pointed out that – in the context of the ongoing demographic crisis, the effects of which will be felt in the coming decades – adopting a coherent and rational approach to the absorption of immigration is absolutely essential.
Meanwhile, the more inflamed the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border and the harsher words are spoken on this matter, the greater may be the willingness of people and entities traditionally sceptical towards immigration to link the current crisis with the state’s long-term policy towards migrants from other countries.
Regarding this subject, we want to unequivocally state that the protection of the state borders (and at the same time the external border of the European Union) along with the defence against external attempts to destabilise the political situation and the migration strategy describing the procedures and approach of state institutions to migrants coming to Poland mainly for economic purposes are two fully separate things. Any attempt to link these two completely different issues based on emotions and resentment may lead to the inhibition or a significant slowdown of works on a strategic approach to immigration, which we are in dire need of for reasons both demographic and economic.