The EU refuses to pay Poland Covid-19 recovery funds. What next?

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
4 Min Read

With the European Commission refusing to pay out Poland money from the EU Recovery Fund, there are some who believe Poland should withdraw from the funding project entirely.

MEP Adam Bielan is the head of the Polish Republican Party, which is a part of the ruling United Right coalition. He emphasized that Poland had to make a decision concerning the European Commission refusing to pay out money from the recovery fund.

“We do care about reaching an agreement with the European Commission, but we must come to a decision by the end of March concerning not releasing an opinion about the Polish National Recovery Plan (KPO) and potentially a decision even about withdrawing from the European Recovery Fund,” Bielan told Catholic Radio Plus.

He emphasized that the European Commission was operating beyond the law by not releasing an opinion on the Polish KPO, even though the deadline for doing so was Aug. 1, 2021.

“In such a situation, an appeal to the commission’s decision should be considered, although one should keep in mind that this would be further escalation of the conflict. We really care about reaching an agreement on this matter,” he said.

Adam Bielan
MEP Adam Bielan (Source: Wikipedia, Photo by Adam Nurkiewic)

Bielan underlined that the time was approaching during which the affair would have to be decided through legal measures. The end of the first quarter of 2022 will be the final moment to make such a decision.

He also spoke in the context of whether an appeal will be filed to the European Court of Justice if the KPO is not confirmed by the end of March.

“We will have to make some sort of decision, possibly even involving withdrawing from the European Recovery Plan. It is unacceptable for us to be in a situation in which we will not be able to use those funds while simultaneously we will be endorsing the loans from which they are paid out,” he said.

Bielan is referring to the fact that Poland agreed to underwrite the recovery fund for other countries, which includes loan packages, meaning Poland, along with other EU countries, would be on the hook for unpaid debts from other countries. Poland had agreed to take on such risk under the assumption that the EU would also be paying out recovery funds to Poland, a position it has since backtracked on. Poland’s conservative ruling party sees political motivations behind the decision, with the mainstream left-liberal mainstream that holds power in Brussels greatly aligned against the Polish government.

Bielan assured that different legal possibilities were being analyzed at the moment and that he would not want to outline only such pessimistic scenarios.

“We cannot wait forever, however, hence the recent acceleration from the side of [Polish] President Andrzej Duda,” he added.

Duda announced on Thursday that he put forward a draft law to dismantle the Supreme Court’s disciplinary chamber for judges, the center of a long-running dispute between Warsaw and Brussels over the rule of law.

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