European Commission questions Polish gov't economic plan - daily

The European Commission wants the draft of Poland's National Recovery Plan (KPO) amended because it puts too little focus on reforms, the newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna wrote on Monday citing insiders in Brussels.

The plan, prepared by the Mateusz Morawiecki government, is a condition to access EU recovery funds, and its final version has to be submitted to the European Commission (EC) by the end of April.

"It is meant to be an instrument that will drive the growth of European economies in their recovery from the pandemic, and is not another cohesion policy," a source told the newspaper.

The Commission wants Poland to set specific goals, for example, in the field of air quality improvement, according to the daily.

Therefore among the elements of the plan criticised by the Commission is the Clean Air programme which envisages replacing 860,000 old stoves with gas stoves.

Brussels officials believe this will have the unwanted result of increasing heating costs for the average Pole.

More money should also go to rail transport in towns and cities.

According to the daily, the government agreed to amend the document following comments from the European Commission as well as pressure from local governments and the opposition.

"The analysis of the opinions submitted during the consultations of the plan is still continuing,” the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy was cited by the newspaper. “There are many of them, but the decisions on the first changes to be made have already been taken."

Under the EU recovery mechanism, Poland is to receive EUR 23.9 billion in non-returnable grants and EUR 34.2 billion in loans.