Speaking after talks with his regional counterparts in the neighboring Czech Republic, Mateusz Morawiecki said that four Central European countries had “reached a consensus” on the European Union’s planned EUR 750 billion recovery fund aiming to ensure financial stability in the bloc in the time of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Morawiecki told reporters that it was important to ensure a “fair” distribution of funds under the proposed plan as well as the bloc’s new long-term budget so that less prosperous countries are not put at a disadvantage to more prosperous ones, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
He added that Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia were agreed that the EU’s “cohesion and agricultural policies, supported by the recovery fund, can further contribute to rebuilding economies after the coronavirus pandemic.”
Morawiecki has previously said that the EU recovery plan proposed by the European Commission last month, combined with the bloc’s new long-term budget, would lend "a major financial stimulus” and create an “unprecedented prospect” for growth throughout Europe, including Poland.
According to Morawiecki, Poland will spend funds available under the EU initiative to build new roads and rail lines and carry out other infrastructure projects to spur its economy.
The new recovery fund, dubbed "Next Generation EU," includes EUR 500 billion in grants and EUR 250 billion in loans for member states, with the money borrowed on financial markets and repaid from the bloc's budget.
Amid the pandemic, Poland stands to receive more than EUR 63 billion from EU coffers in grants and loans under the plan, according to estimates.
Morawiecki’s meeting with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Slovakia’s Igor Matovič and Hungary’s Viktor Orban at Lednice Castle in the southeastern Czech Republic on Thursday marked the Polish prime minister's first foreign trip since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PAP news agency reported.
V4 PMs hold a summit amid the pandemic: Slovakia's Igor Matovič, Poland's Mateusz Morawiecki, the Czech Republic's Andrej Babiš, and Hungary’s Viktor Orban. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia together form a regional cooperation platform known as the Visegrad Group (V4).
Click on the "Play" button above to listen to an audio report