EU countries approve Polish recovery plan

Marcin Obara/PAP

EU member states have approved Poland's National Recovery Plan (KPO), an EU source has told PAP.

The decision was made at the meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg on Friday. During the vote Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands called on the European Commission (EC) to carefully assess the Poland's fulfilment of the milestones related to changes in the judicial system before any payments are made.

According to PAP sources, the Netherlands abstained from voting.

Later on Friday, Poland's Minister of Finance, Magdalena Rzeczkowska told reporters in Luxembourg that funds would begin to flow to Poland as soon as the first payment request was submitted, which was planned for the second half of 2022.

Rzeczkowska said that, at the meeting on Friday, she had presented the main elements of Poland's recovery plan, including climate, energy and digital transformation, and that they were "well received by the other member states."

She added that the implementation of the KPO would "strengthen the Polish economy, competitiveness and the labour market."

Piotr Mueller, the Polish government spokesperson, told PAP that Poland had expected the approval of its KPO and the country would immediately commence the implementation of the projects included in its recovery plan.

"Under the national pre-financing procedure, we are now starting to finance all of the programmes that were planned for the coming months, so we are not waiting for any other procedures within the European Union and are implementing programmes that are in the KPO, such as road and rail investments, the 'Maluch Plus' (child-care programme - PAP) and the next edition of Clean Air programme," he said.

On June 1, the European Commission approved the KPO, saying that Poland's plan contained milestones related to important aspects of judicial independence.

Poland still must implement judicial reforms by the end of June, which will open the way for the country in July to apply for funding. The EC will have up to two months to evaluate the application.

Warsaw is set to get EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in loans from the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF) set up to help the recovery of the bloc's economies after the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic