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The Warsaw Voice » Law » July 30, 2012
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Law in brief
July 30, 2012   
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Restoring Polish Citizenship
Thousands of people who emigrated from Poland and lost Polish citizenship before January 1, 1999 will now have an opportunity to regain it.

Until recently, the only option for those who had lost Polish citizenship was to apply to the president for being granted citizenship anew under general regulations applying to foreigners. Now these people have the right to apply to the interior ministry to have their citizenship reinstated.Dual citizenship was not allowed under the previous law on Polish citizenship, which dated back to 1951. The law particularly hit the 90,000-odd people who emigrated from Poland for political reasons in 1968 and on some 2 million Polish citizens who left for Germany to join their families.For the time being, experts are unable to estimate the number of people interested in using this new opportunity. Those who want to acquire an EU passport or have claims to property in Poland will certainly be interested, experts say.

Criminal Procedure Rules to Change
The government has approved draft changes to Poland’s criminal procedure system to adapt Polish regulations to two framework decisions by the Council of the European Union. The aim is to avoid a situation in which criminal proceedings will be instituted against the same person for the same crime in two or more EU member states.

Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants
A total of 1,669 illegal immigrants have legalized their stay in Poland under new regulations that came into force this January.

In all, more than 6,100 foreigners are seeking to legalize their stay in Poland, according to the Interior Ministry. The largest number of applications has been submitted by nationals of countries including Vietnam, Ukraine, Pakistan, Armenia and China.

Brussels Fighting Tax Havens
The European Commission says it will propose new tougher measures to clamp down on tax offenses in European Union countries by the end of the year.

The Commission has already put forward the idea of adopting minimum penalties for specific tax offenses across the European Union.According to the Commission, teams of auditors should be appointed to fight cross-border tax irregularities.

The Commission is also likely to push for closer cooperation among member states’ tax authorities in exchanging tax information, including access to national databases on taxpayers.

Penalties for Hiring Illegal Aliens
The president has signed into law a piece of legislation that provides for fines and prison terms for those hiring illegal aliens.

The minimum fine for employers giving jobs to such foreigners has been raised from zl.3,000 to zl.10,000 regardless of the business sector.

Before employing a foreigner, the employer will have to check their residence documents.

Work Permits Waived for Foreign Professionals
Highly qualified foreign nationals residing in Poland will not need to seek a work permit under a set of new rules that are designed to bring Poland’s immigration regulations in line with EU law.

Following a decision by Poland’s Interior Ministry, highly qualified foreign professionals working in Poland must be paid no less than zl.61,191 a year. The minimum limit is expected to help Polish employers attract qualified workers from abroad.

Poland Presses for Equal Payments
Poland is pressing for equal direct payments for farmers in all EU member states under the bloc’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

At present, farmers in “old” EU countries are paid more and politicians in these countries have opposed calls for a change in the rules. Debate is expected to continue until the second half of 2013.

Work on reforming the way in which money is distributed under the CAP began in 2008. The most controversial issue is the existing system for payment distribution based on historical agricultural output values for individual member states. Under this system, farmers in Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Greece and other old member states are eligible for higher direct payments than farmers in new member states.
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