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EC poised to approve Poland’s recovery plan soon, says minister

The European Commission (EC) is set to give the green light to Poland’s post-Covid National Recovery Plan (KPO) as there is political consent within the EU’s executive arm to launch the plan, the minister of economic development and technology has said.

Piotr Nowak said three EU commissioners had given their assurance that political will existed within the EC for the KPO to be triggered “any moment,” and said Poland had fulfilled the EC’s condition concerning liquidation of a contested Disciplinary Chamber of the country’s Supreme Court. “A bill (on the matter) has gone to parliament,” he said.

All EU countries had to submit to the EC a plan if they wanted to gain access to the EU’s multi-billion-euro post-pandemic aid package. Poland submitted its draft of the National Recovery Plan, outlining how EU pandemic recovery funds will be spent, on May 3, 2021.

However, the EC had threatened to hold up payment of EU funds until a dispute over the rule of law in Poland was resolved.

EC President Ursula von der Leyen set out the EC’s condition for the KPO to be approved in late October, 2021, namely that the plan include an obligation to liquidate the Disciplinary Chamber.

Under the Recovery Fund, Poland could receive some EUR 58.1 billion, including EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 34.2 billion in loans.

Government spokesperson Piotr Mueller cautioned, however, that there was still no decision on the KPO. “I would like to be such an optimist as Minister Nowak,” Mueller said. “Negotiations on the matter of the KPO are being conducted personally by Prime Minister Morawiecki, and technical issues are being conducted by Minister (of Funds and Regional Policy, Waldemar – PAP) Buda. There are still a few things to be resolved.”

Last summer, Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, and the leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is also a deputy prime minister, announced that the chamber would be dissolved.

On Thursday, the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, will work on five bills providing for either the dissolution or reforming of the Disciplinary Chamber.

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