No arrangements between Poland and Hungary on unblocking EU funds says PM
Poland and Hungary are not working together to unblock their access to an EU post-pandemic recovery fund, Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister said on Thursday.
Both countries, which are often share a deeply euro-sceptic stance on EU relations, have been frozen out of the fund so far due to their respective disputes with Brussels.
But Morawiecki said that Poland and Hungary shared no common position when it came to discussions with the EU about access to the funding, saying that the two countries were in "completely different places when it comes to negotiating for EU funds."
"Hungary has a so-called conditionality mechanism imposed on it, whereas Poland does not," he said, referring to the possibility that Hungary may have its EU funding suspended.
Poland's situation, he said, was different.
"I know that some are, either deliberately or due to a lack of awareness, confusing (Poland's – PAP) National Recovery Plan (KPO) with the conditionality procedure, but let us get the facts straight," he said.
The KPO outlines how the Polish government will spend the money. But the KPO has been stalled because the EC has refused to grant Poland access to funding until Poland meets several conditions on the rule-of-law.
"Our side is in ongoing talks and, in six months or a year or in a year and a half, we will, in an orderly fashion, receive this money, which is why we have already started on certain projects which are being pre-financed by the Polish Development Fund," he continued. "Everything is going according to plan."
The European Commission (EC) approved Poland's National Recovery Plan (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 prime minister was also asked by journalists about how he intends to convince Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, to accept the bids of Finland and Sweden to join Nato.
"I will tell him directly that this is very important for Poland… the accession of Finland and Sweden will strengthen the security of Central Europe," he said.