Nathalie Hanner

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Country: Poland Committee: Consilium Delegate: Nathalie Hanner, Maastricht University

Topic A: European Boarder and Coast Guard

Since its beginnings, the Headquarters of Frontex Agency have been located in Warsaw under Polish custody. The proposal by the European Commission expects Poland to overtake the financing of the Headquarters, the provision of immunity to Frontex staff and the creation of a European school in Warsaw for children of staff members if the agency is to remain in the country.

Poland criticized the proposal on grounds of implied national sovereignty restrictions due to exclusive competence of the EU over the agency. In addition, economic concerns in relation to the migrant crisis have been voiced, referring to the distribution of public resources. The idea to deploy forces even if the target country does not want it have been condemned as undemocratic and violating the principle of subsidiarity, again linked to sovereignty concerns. The Polish government emphasizes the importance to address accountability issues to enhance the proper functioning of the agency. Accordingly, it needs to be clearly defined to whom agency staff and units are accountable and who takes the responsibility of operations. In preference to the Commission, the Council should be the reference body.

The relaunch of the agency provided most of the significant demands Poland voiced. Frontex is linked with the border services of EU member states and does not form a uniform, supranational body of the EU. The Council decides on interventions and member states can still introduce temporary controls if it deems them necessary. Poland conceded to sign the Headquarters Agreement in March 2017 that now needs to be ratified by the Parliament but still wishes to negotiate further on terms and rules. The government is aware that failure of negotiations would limit the country’s impact on the agency. Poland is reluctant to accept more asylum seekers and does not want to play an active part in the integration of migrants. Thus, it is important to retain influence and place the European Border and Coast Guard as a top priority, also considering that Poland has an external border to Belarus and Ukraine.

Poland attaches high importance to an elaborated approach to risk assessment and coop...