Final shape of EU budget up to member states: Polish deputy FM

The final shape of the European Union’s new budget will be determined by its member states, a Polish deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday amid opposition in Warsaw to hefty cuts.
Konrad Szymański. Photo: KPRM (Public Domain)Konrad Szymański. Photo: KPRM (Public Domain)

Konrad Szymański, the deputy foreign minister for European affairs, said that a draft budget unveiled last month by the bloc’s executive arm, the European Commission, “will not be adopted” in the proposed shape.

The European Commission last week proposed 23 percent less cohesion policy funds for Poland under the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget, according to reports.

Asked about the planned cut, Szymański told public broadcaster Polish Radio that „Poland has not lost anything” for now because “this is just a proposal by the European Commission.”

He also said that “Poland is now entering the next phase of negotiations” and “we are well prepared for these talks.”

He added: „We can be sure that this proposal will not be accepted as is.”

One reason is because Poland has “justified doubts about whether it is a good political plan, but also because … from now on the matter is the responsibility of the member states, not the European Commission,” Szymański said.

„It is the member states who will decide what the budget will ultimately look like,” he said, adding that the budget could not be approved without a Polish yes at the negotiating table.

The Polish government spokeswoman said in late May that the planned 23-percent cut in EU cohesion funds for Poland under the bloc’s new budget was unacceptable.

Poland also stands to get less funds for agriculture from Brussels under a new budget plan unveiled last week, according to reports.

Szymański was quoted as saying in mid-May that Warsaw would not accept “revolutionary” cuts in the EU budget.

(gs)

Source: Polish Radio, PAP

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