English Section

No official word from EU on cohesion funds for Poland: gov’t spokesman

17.10.2022 22:30
Warsaw has received no official statement from the European Commission about any decision to suspend regional aid to Poland, the Polish government spokesman said on Monday, when asked to comment on reports that the EU has withheld billions in cohesion funding from Poland.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Mller talks to reporters in Warsaw on Monday, October 17, 2022.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller talks to reporters in Warsaw on Monday, October 17, 2022.PAP/Piotr Nowak

Speaking to reporters at a media briefing in Warsaw, Piotr Müller said: “Let me remind you once again - there has been no letter from the European Commission to Poland saying that the funds have been blocked.”

Müller had been asked to comment on a remark earlier in the day by the Commission’s regional policy spokesman, Stefan de Keersmaecker, who said that Poland had not fulfilled one of the crucial requirements for the release of EU funding, by failing to address concerns over the rule of law, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

EU blocks cohesion funds for Poland?

It quoted de Keersmaecker as saying that “Poland itself has said it hasn’t fulfilled one of the crucial requirements for the release of EU funding, related to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, regarding the independence of the courts."

De Keersmaecker also said that Brussels must check for compliance with the EU charter before the funds can be released, and added that “dialogue is ongoing” between Poland and the European Commission on the matter, according to the PAP news agency.

EU cohesion funds for Poland

De Keersmaecker’s statement came after Brussels recently signed off on three of Poland’s cohesion programmes under the bloc’s current budget, news outlets reported. 

The programmes cover big infrastructure projects and green investments, according to the Financial Times. 

Meanwhile, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, who is Polish, cited the bloc's Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, as saying on September 18 that "in Poland’s case there is insufficient direct connection between judiciary problems and threats to EU funding.”

Müller referred to Wojciechowski’s remark, telling reporters: “I am deeply convinced that Poland will receive the EU cohesion funds.”

Poland’s ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, said on Monday: “Media reports that some of the EU's funding for Poland has been suspended are untrue. Poland’s talks with the European Commission are proceeding according to schedule."

Müller, Wojciechowski and Sadoś briefed reporters on the issue of EU cohesion funds for Poland after the Rzeczpospolita newspaper reported earlier in the day that Brussels had frozen “practically all of the funding for Poland."


Source: PAP, ft.com, rp.pl