EP resolution deplores EC approval of Poland's National Recovery Plan

The European Parliament has passed a resolution expressing its deep concern about the European Commission (EC)'s positive assessment of Poland's National Recovery Plan (KPO).

The resolution adopted at the plenary session in Strasbourg on Thursday was supported by 411 MEPs with 129 against and 31 abstentions.

On June 1, the European Commission approved the KPO, saying that Poland's plan contained milestones related to important aspects of judicial independence "which are of particular importance to improve the investment climate and put in place the conditions for an effective implementation of the recovery and resilience plan."

The EC also added that Warsaw must show that these milestones have been reached before any payment can be made.

Poland stands to receive EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in loans from the recovery and resilience fund, the EC said, adding that the money will go towards investment and reform measures outlined in the KPO. "It will enable Poland to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic and progress with the green and digital transitions," the EC wrote.

However, in Thursday's resolution the MEPs said that Poland's plan is not compliant with the requirements for a positive assessment as set out in the RRF (Recovery and Resilience Facility) Regulations.

The EP said it "deplores the Commission's positive assessment of Poland's recovery and resilience plan despite the existing and continued breaches of the values enshrined in Article 2 TEU, including on the rule of law and independence of the judiciary."

It added that "EU funds should not be granted to Member State governments that breach the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights" and recalled "the various breaches by Poland in the field of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, especially regarding the independence of the judiciary, media freedom, attacks against civil society actors and the further deterioration of LGBTIQ+ people's rights and women's rights, and the alleged use of Pegasus spyware."

According to the resolution, "the existence of such breaches has been properly documented by many court judgments, positions of EU institutions... and international organisations."

The document further said that "unconditional compliance with court judgments is an absolute must and cannot be a bargaining chip."