EU pandemic funding will support Poles says EC head
Poland's EU-funded National Recovery Plan (KPO) will support the country on its way to a more sustainable, resilient and digital economy, said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission (EC).
Von der Leyen made the statement during a European Parliament debate on Tuesday as she commented on the EC's conditional approval of the KPO last week.
She said that the recovery and resilience plan, an EU nomenclature for the post-pandemic grants and loans offered by Brussels to EU member states, "will support the Polish people on their way to a more sustainable, digital and resilient future."
She also said that the approval must now be endorsed by all EU member states at a European Council meeting.
But she stressed that Poland would have to make certain changes to its judicial system before the money is actually released.
"The approval of this plan is linked in particular to clear commitments by the Polish government to the independence of the judiciary," the EC president said.
"First, the current disciplinary chamber (of the Supreme Court - PAP) must be abolished and replaced by an independent and impartial court established by law," she said.
"Second, the disciplinary regime has to be reformed. That means controversial disciplinary offences have to be removed," von der Leyen continued.
"And third, all judges affected by the rulings of the disciplinary chamber shall have the right to have their case reviewed by the new chamber within a clear time frame," the EC president said.
Originally designed for 2021-27, the KPO is worth EUR 35.4 billion, including EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in loans.