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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland submits National Recovery Plan to European Commission

03.05.2021 20:30
The Polish government on Monday submitted the country’s National Recovery Plan to the European Commission in a bid to unlock a stream of cash from the European Union’s multi-billion COVID-19 recovery fund.
Deputy Development Funds and Regional Policy Minister Waldemar Buda and Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller during a press conference in Warsaw on Monday.
Deputy Development Funds and Regional Policy Minister Waldemar Buda and Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller during a press conference in Warsaw on Monday.Photo: PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik

According to government spokesman Piotr Muller, Polish MPs are to ratify the bill in a vote in the Sejm, the lower house of Polish parliament, on Tuesday.

The EU recovery fund has caused divisions within Poland's ruling United Right coalition, and Law and Justice, the senior coalition party, has been seeking the support of opposition groups to get the legislation through the lower house.

Solidarna Polska, a conservative junior partner in Poland's governing coalition, has come out against ratifying the recovery plan, concerned that a mechanism tying the payout of EU funds to the observance of the rule of law could be used by Brussels to interfere in Polish domestic affairs.

After negotiations with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's Left opposition grouping said it would back the government's plan, if it included amendments proposed by the party.

Poland’s Deputy Development Funds and Regional Policy Minister Waldemar Buda told a press conference on Monday that all Left’s proposals were included in the document sent to the European Commission.

Leader of the Left grouping Adrian Zandberg told Poland’s PAP state news agency on Monday that his party wanted the EU funds to be allocated towards supporting regional hospitals, building cheap flats and aid for entrepreneurs hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We demanded a monitoring committee, consisting of trade unions and NGOs to supervise the process of spending the funds in a just way,” Zandberg was quoted by the agency as saying.

Morawiecki said that Poland planned to allocate EU funds for key goals including creating jobs and raising wages.

 “The pace of emerging from the COVID-19 crisis will depend on whether these funds can first be quickly accepted and then distributed," Morawiecki added.

Poland stands to receive more than EUR 23 billion in subsidies and over EUR 34 billion in loans from the recovery fund.

European Union member states in December gave the green light for the bloc to borrow EUR 750 billion (USD 906 billion) and provide a cash injection for economies left reeling by the coronavirus crisis.

For the ambitious recovery plan to be put into action, all 27 EU member states need to ratify a decision to increase the bloc's resources.

(tf)

Source: PAP