Polish consul to be expelled from Norway

Polish diplomat Sławomir Kowalski has to leave Norway. The country’s Foreign Ministry decided that he is no longer welcome.

“We can confirm, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called Poland to dismiss this consul,” said Ane Haavardsdatter, the Norwegian FM’s spokesperson.

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.

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“The reason behind the decision on the diplomat’s expulsion is his involvement in some matters, which are not in line with his official duties and his inappropriate behaviour towards some public officers,” explained Ane Haavardsdatter.

The Barnevernet has been accused of being excessively interventionist on many occasions. One example is the case of Silje Garmo, a Norwegian woman, and her young daughter, Eira. Norway’s child welfare service accused Ms Garmo of overusing painkillers and of suffering from chronic fatigue. In December 2018 Ms Garmo and her daughter were granted asylum in Poland, because the woman feared that social services in her home country would try to separate them.

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.“

The Polish consul in Oslo has three weeks to leave Norway.