The European Commission (EC) has issued a positive opinion regarding Poland’s amended National Recovery Plan (KPO), paving the way for the pay-out of more than a EUR 5-billion advance from the bloc’s post-pandemic recovery fund, the funds ministry has said.
Poland is due to receive almost EUR 60 billion in grants and loans from the EU’s pandemic relief fund under its KPO.
But Brussels has said that before these funds can be unlocked, Poland must meet a series of rule-of-law ‘milestones,’ including full compliance with an EU court ruling requiring Poland to change its rules for disciplining judges.
Warsaw has been in a longtime rule-of-law dispute with the EC due to the incumbent Law and Justice government’s opposition to rolling back its judicial reforms, which resulted in the freezing of KPO funds.
But an amendment to the KPO has now been approved by Brussels, the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy said.
“The European Commission today issued a positive opinion on the amended KPO,” the ministry wrote in a Tuesday press release. “This concerns additional loans to the sum of EUR 23 billion, for which Poland applied on March 31, and additional grants of EUR 2.76 billion from REPowerEU (an EC proposal to end reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2030 – PAP), which were included in the amended KPO sent to the EC on August 31. The advances that Poland will soon receive are 20 percent of that sum, or over EUR 5 billion.
“Following the budget revision, the KPO has expanded to EUR 59.82 billion (PLN 261.4 billion), including EUR 25.28 billion (PLN 110.4 billion) in the form of grants and EUR 34.5 billion (PLN 151 billion) in the form of preferential loans,” the statement continued. “The pay-out of a more than EUR 5-billion advance is not dependent on the fulfilment by Poland of any milestones.”