Gov't spokesman confirms EC step towards recovery fund payout

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

The possibility that the EU could grant Poland access to a multi-billion euro post-pandemic recovery fund has improved after the European Commission accepted key documents.

A Polish government spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that the European Commission (EC) has accepted so-called operational arrangements concerning the country's National Recovery Plan (KPO) but warned it is not a decisive move regarding access to the bloc's post-pandemic recovery fund.

The EC approved Poland's KPO in early June, opening the way for Warsaw to get EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in cheap loans from the bloc's post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The KPO outlines how the Polish government will spend the money, but so far the EC has refused to grant Poland access to the funding until it meets several rule-of-law milestones.

The operational arrangements are bilateral technical agreements that must be signed by both the EC and Poland. They include specifications on the evidence required to show the milestones have been achieved.

Polish government spokesperson Piotr Mueller told a press conference on Wednesday: "I confirm that the operational arrangements have been accepted by the European Commission. However, that still does not change the reality in relation to the National Recovery Plan."

Mueller went on to say that, "of course it is a good step, but we are looking at those further talks," and explained that Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek, the EU affairs minister, would go to Brussels to discuss the matter.

"We will see what the effects of these arrangements will be," Mueller continued. "As we know, at the end of the day it is important that the settlement of the application be accepted when it comes to carrying out the aims of the KPO and that is key to the payout of the financial means."