EU May Punish Poland for Blocking Ukraine's Borders

Thursday, 16 November 2023

The European Commission could launch an infringement procedure against Poland if the Polish authorities do not resolve the problem of hauliers blocking border crossings with Ukraine.

As reported by a journalist from Polish radio station RMF FM in Brussels, the European Commission has noted that the Polish authorities are obliged to ensure the flow of goods from Ukraine through the so-called solidarity corridors. A European Commission representative told RMF FM that the Polish authorities have an obligation under EU law to ensure the free movement of Ukrainian trucks at border crossings. 

Some in the European Commission believe that the Polish authorities are not doing as much as they could to solve the problem and end the Polish hauliers’ protest, and Brussels is clearly losing patience.

RMF FM has learned from unofficial sources that the European Commission is considering whether the Polish authorities have breached the EU regulation on trade liberalisation with Ukraine, which was recently extended until June 2024. The European Commission must now examine the legal grounds for launching an infringement procedure.

Officially, the EC does not wish to comment on measures it may take against the Polish authorities, since it states that talks with Poland and Ukraine are ongoing.

"The European Commission is still in contact with the authorities of both countries. We cannot comment on potential measures as talks are ongoing," the European Commission representative said.

Dozens of Polish hauliers began blocking three border crossings with Ukraine on 6 November. Their demands include the introduction of commercial permits for Ukrainian companies to transport goods, except for humanitarian aid and supplies for the Ukrainian military, the suspension of licences for companies established after the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine, and inspections of these companies.

On 13 November, Polish road hauliers said the latest talks with Ukrainian officials had failed to end the dispute, so they will continue blocking the border with Ukraine.

Read more – How Much Ukrainian and Polish Businesses Losing amid Border Blockade

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