EUR 160 bln for Poland in EU recovery deal - PM

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Poland will be a beneficiary of EUR 160 billion of the EU post-pandemic recovery package after EU leaders reached a deal on the stimulus plan and the EU's next common budget during a marathon summit in Brussels, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday morning.

The sum includes more than EUR 124 billion in non-repayable grants, around EUR 34 billion in low-interest loans and some EUR 600 million for regions most in need of funds for development, he told reporters.

"We broke through various crises along the way; the joint work of the Visegrad Group has led to this enormous success," Morawiecki said.

In his view, the conclusions of the summit are a great success from the financial point of view and the whole architecture of supervision over budget funds.

In the course of the negotiations, the level of grant funding was reduced by 22 percent from the original proposals to meet demands from the so-called frugal states but Poland's participation in it was reduced by only 3 percent, he also said.

The Polish PM pointed out that in the deal adopted on Tuesday there is no direct linking between the rule of law and the allocation of EU funds as earlier proposed.

At a joint conference with Morawiecki, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that any effort to attach the rule of law to the budget was immediately successfully rejected. In Orban's opinion, this was a great win for Poland and Hungary, as well as for the other two countries of the Visegrad Group, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He added that Poland and Hungary achieved all the goals they set for themselves, but during the negotiations there were some attempts to educate the two countries on the rule of law.

"The reason we succeeded was that Mateusz Morawiecki was the leader of the Visegrad Group, he was the leader of our team," the Hungarian prime minister said. "Mateusz (Morawiecki- PAP) will never say that, but it is true that he generated billions of euros for Poles," he added.

Morawiecki also told the joint press conference that there is no connection between the political and economic aspects - these are two different orders. "We want budget discipline, we want the money to be spent in the best possible way, to be controlled and supervised by the European Court of auditors," he said.

Under the agreement struck by the 27 EU leaders, the recovery fund for member states will include EUR 390 billion in grants, reduced from EUR 500 billion initially proposed by the European Commission, and EUR 360 billion in loans, up from the earlier 250 billion plan.

The value of the EU budget for the years 2021-2027 has been maintained at EUR 1.074 trillion.