The Polish government is trying to amend the so-called special act – that is, the law regulating the situation of Ukrainian citizens who fled to Poland because the war.
Although the government did not conduct public consultations on the draft amendment, we submitted our comments to the draft. Read below what are the most important proposals of the novelisation:
1. The government proposes that refugees from Ukraine cover the cost of their accommodation: 50% (no more than PLN 40 per day) after 120 days from their arrival in Poland, and 75% after 180 days (no more than PLN 60 per day). The proposed provision is completely contrary to the European provisions on temporary protection, the beneficiaries of which are Ukrainian citizens who fled the war. European regulations stipulate that it is the duty of the Member State to provide Ukrainian citizens covered by the special act with access to adequate accommodation or the means necessary to obtain it.
1. Quite unexpectedly, the draft provides for the repeal of the so-called the anti-COVID shield, i.e. regulations extending the deadline for submitting residence applications under the Act on foreigners, extending the validity of residence permits, the deadline for leaving Poland and the deadline for voluntary return. This procedure drastically violates the principle of the state’s loyalty to its citizens – foreigners and foreigners were informed from the beginning of the pandemic that, as long as they stayed in Poland legally on the day of the outbreak of the pandemic, they were “safe” until the epidemic was resolved. Nowadays, a “slip” in the act concerning a completely different group of people, it is proposed to silently remove these provisions. The proposal also violates the principles of legislative technique, which require that one amendment should only include one act.