- by cnn
- 02 Dec 2023
The European Commission has sent a letter to Poland asking for "clarifications," amid reports that Polish officials have been involved in an alleged cash-for-visas scandal.
Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Polish consulates have been accused of participating in a widespread illegal scheme through which migrants from Africa and Asia were issued Polish visas in exchange for large sums of money.
As Poland is a member of the passport-free Schengen area, visas issued by the country grant holders free access to the 27 member states of the Schengen Area, which include 23 EU member states, as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein and also grants entry to some non-Schengen countries.
The allegations could further exacerbate European tensions over grain supplies, which have led to Poland saying it will no longer send arms to Ukraine, and Kyiv filing lawsuits against three EU member states, including Poland.
Brussels is "following the recent media reporting about these alleged cases of fraud and corruption very closely," according to the European Commission's spokesperson Anitta Hipper.
"These allegations are very concerning and give rise to questions regarding the compliance with EU law," Hipper said in a Wednesday statement. "This is why Commissioner (Ylva) Johansson wrote a letter to the Polish authorities to ask for clarifications."
Johansson sent a memo posing a "set of detailed questions," and asked the Polish authorities to reply by October 3, Hipper said.
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