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English Section

Poland close to deal with EU on post-pandemic recovery cash: gov't spokesman

13.05.2022 23:00
Poland is close to a deal with Brussels that would unblock billions in post-pandemic recovery funds from the European Union for the country, the Polish government spokesman said on Friday.
Piotr Mller.
Piotr Müller.PAP/Tomasz Gzell

Piotr Müller told reporters that "negotiating teams have finished their talks" and that "both sides have agreed on the milestones” for Poland to access EU cash, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

“This is excellent news, and it means that Poland’s National Recovery Plan should be formally approved in the next few days or so,” Müller said.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, must greenlight the deal for Poland to receive some EUR 36 billion from the bloc's post-pandemic stimulus package, the PAP news agency reported. 

Dispute over disciplinary rules for judges

Brussels has so far blocked the money due to a dispute with Poland over disciplinary rules for judges.

The European Commission is critical of a new disciplinary chamber within Poland's Supreme Court, saying it is a politicised body that is designed to penalise judges who oppose the government’s judicial changes.

The EU's top court has ruled that the chamber must be disbanded. It last October fined Poland EUR 1 million a day for maintaining the unit.

Last week, the European Commission announced that Poland’s dues had exceeded EUR 160 million. 

Bills to reshape Supreme Court

Earlier this year, the Polish President Andrzej Duda and a junior partner in Poland’s governing coalition, United Poland, submitted two separate bills to reorganise the Supreme Court.

The EU’s Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders last week said the presidential proposal was “a positive step.”

He added: “What will eventually matter is the extent to which the legislation, as finally adopted by the Polish parliament … will address the requirements set out by the Court of Justice [of the EU] in its ruling of 14 and 15 July last year.” 

What’s next?

Müller said on Wednesday: “The European Commission needs to complete the formal procedure and then of course we must implement the various reforms contained in the National Recovery Plan … At the moment we are waiting for the last formal step from the Commission.”

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP, Reuters, bloomberg.com