Poland receives €6.3bn in EU recovery funds

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Poland has received EUR 6.3 billion in EU recovery funds, government officials announced on Monday, saying that the payment represented the country’s largest transfer from EU coffers since joining the bloc two decades ago.

Polands minister for EU funds and regional policy, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz (right), speaks at a news conference in Warsaw on Monday, April 15, 2024.

Poland’s minister for EU funds and regional policy, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz (right), speaks at a news conference in Warsaw on Monday, April 15, 2024.Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

„Poland has just received the largest transfer from the European Union in the history of our membership,” Regional Policy Minister Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz said in a post on the X social media platform, putting the payment at „PLN 27 billion” (EUR 6.3 billion).

„While being an EU member has financial benefits, the European Union stands for more than just monetary support …,” Pełczyńska-Nałęcz added.

Poland's minister for EU funds and regional policy, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, speaks at a news conference in Warsaw on Monday.Poland’s minister for EU funds and regional policy, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, hold a news conference in Warsaw on Monday. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

„We are united by values such as democracy, equal opportunity, the rule of law and civil liberties,” she wrote.

’Effective cooperation yields tangible results’: PM

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on X: „Effective cooperation yields tangible results—specifically PLN 27 billion.”

His office said in a message that the transfer from Brussels followed Poland’s first request for payment under its National Recovery Programme.

Poland set to receive €59.8bn in the coming years: EU’s von der Leyen

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen hailed the payment as „an important day for Poland.”

„With the progress made in implementing its recovery plan, Poland will now get a first Nex Generation EU payment of EUR 6.3 billion,” she said in a post.

„This is just the beginning,” von der Leyen added. „Poland is set to receive almost EUR 59.8 billion in the coming years.”

EU funds to help improve air quality, enhance transport safety: gov’t 

The Polish government said the funds would be allocated toward various projects aimed at enhancing air quality, eliminating gaps in broadband internet access, modernising and constructing new railway lines, enhancing transport safety, expanding access to daycare for children, and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in agricultural processing.

Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, who is Poland’s minister for EU funds and regional policy, said on April 5 that Poland’s payment request for EUR 6.3 billion had been accepted by the European Commission and that the funds should reach the country 10 days later.

The executive arm of the European Union announced in late February that it was unblocking up to EUR 137 billion in aid for Poland under the bloc’s post-pandemic recovery fund and cohesion policy funds, calling the move „a landmark day” for the country.

The European Commission said in a statement at the time that it „has adopted two legal acts that will pave the way for Poland to access up to EUR 137 billion in EU funding.”

It added that „these acts relate to the rule of law reforms that Poland has adopted and the more recent and immediate steps that it has taken to address the milestones to strengthen judicial independence.”

The Commission also welcomed „the commitment of the Polish government to address the long-standing rule of law concerns.”

The announcement came after European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said in Warsaw in February that Brussels would release funds blocked for Poland as a result of a long-standing dispute over the rule of law.

EU officials have praised Warsaw’s efforts to restore the rule of law after what they say were years of democratic backsliding under the country’s previous government.

The European Commission’s February 29 decision put an end to a protracted row with Brussels over judicial changes, officials told reporters.

Poland’s Justice Minister Adam Bodnar in February attended a meeting of the EU’s General Affairs Council in Brussels, where he laid out a plan to reverse a massive legal overhaul carried out by Poland’s previous right-wing government.

The European Commission says the previous government, which was in power from 2015 to 2023, brought the courts and judges under political control and undermined democratic checks and balances.

Legal changes made by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party and its allies put Poland on a collision course with the European Union and triggered a series of clashes between Warsaw and Brussels.

As a result, the EU executive held back billions in funds intended for Poland under the bloc’s post-pandemic recovery package and cohesion policy.

Poland’s new pro-EU government pledged to restore judicial independence and persuade Brussels to unfreeze the funds.

Poland became a member of the European Union on May 1, 2004.

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP

Radio Poland

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