Norwegian FM declares Polish consul ‘persona non grata’

The Polish consul in Norway Sławomir Kowalski has been declared “persona non grata” there and has to leave the country within one week.

The website also reported that the Polish government is to take similar steps towards Norwegian diplomats in Poland. The deputy Foreign Minister Sławomir Szynkowski has announced that with regard to previous actions taken by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, a similar note was presented to Norway's Ambassador to Poland.

Sławomir Kowalski is known for his conflict with Norway's Barnevernet child protection service over the rights of Polish children.

On January 21, the Norwegian media announced that Mr Kowalski has to leave the country within three weeks.

According to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, the reason for dismissing the consul is “his involvement in some matters, which are not in line with his official duties and his inappropriate behaviour towards some public officers.”

So far, no one has confirmed the revelations concerning the “inappropriate behaviour” of Mr Kowalski.

The Polish Government has been supporting Mr Kowalski from the very beginning. After the case had emerged, PM Mateusz Morawiecki said that authorities would fight for Polish citizens dispersed across the globe, because “such is the task of Polish ambassadors.“

In 2016 Mr Kowalski was awarded the “Consul of the Year” title by the Polish FM for his “adequate and skillful cooperation with Norwegian partners on the matter of underaged Poles remaining under the care of local child welfare services.“

Sławomir Kowalski has helped 150 Polish families living in Norway, that were subject to Barnevernet investigation. Barnevernet is Norway’s child welfare service, it has made some controversial decisions in the past, leading to the separation of children from their parents.

Barnevernet’s activity was negatively evaluated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and Polish Office for Foreigners.