EU Commissioner: huge funding to help refugees is available now, Poland should use it
"We have made huge funding available for the member states most affected, and it’s important that they use this money that is available now, because the needs are there right now," European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said in an interview for TVN24 correspondent in Brussels Maciej Sokołowski. Asked if Poland's government was right to say that the country had not received any financial support to help refugees, she replied: "That is not true".
TVN24 correspondent in Brussels Maciej Sokołowski on Wednesday spoke with European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, who is responsible for migration policy among other things. One of the issues they discussed pertained to EU funds aimed to help refugees from Ukraine.
TVN24 correspondent asked the Commissioner if the Polish government was justified in claiming that Poland had not received any funds from the European Union to help Ukrainian refugees.
"That is not true," said Commissioner Johansson. "Let me first say that Poland is doing a lot and I’m really impressed with solidarity from Poland, from the Polish citizens, from the NGOs, the volunteers, the local and regional authorities – I think they are doing great and it’s really showing a true European spirit. It’s important of course that we have enough funding for those who are opening theor homes for refugees, for the cost of schools, healthcare and other things," she added.
"That’s why we have made huge funding available for the member states most affected, and it’s important that they use this money that is available now, because the needs are there right now. The costs are there right now, so the funds should be used right now," Ylva Johansson underscored.
She also said that the EU "has opened up approximately 2 billion (euro) that is available from the Cohesion Fund, from the previous (one) that will not be spent otherwise, we have also put on the account already actually for Poland: I think it’s 540 million in the pre-funding".
"Also this month I will also send money from my funds directly for Poland, which is the most affected member state. We have also put in flexibility in the use of funds, so for example it will be possible to show the results, not only, not always (to) have a receit. So for example if you pay directly to families that are opening their homes, maybe you don’t have a receit but then you can report how many families have been supported," the commissioner added.
"Use the funds that are available. And that was also my message whan I was in Warsaw two weeks ago," she stressed.
Maciej Sokołowski said that the Polish government had kept on repeating that the EU had not proposed any "new money", but rather offered already exisiting "old funds".
"The MFF, the budget, has been decided by the co-legislators, so the Commission cannot invent new money that is not in the budget. But I think it’s really important to use the money that is available now, and then I don’t exclude that we’re going to need additional money – an additional re-allocation of money, but I think it’s difficult to do that before you have used the money that is available right now," Johansson replied.
"No. It’s important to use that money now bacause the needs are there right now. I speak to a lot of volunteers, NGOs – they are really doing a lot and they need the financial suport right now," Johansson reiterated.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: TVN24