PM calls for parliamentary unity over EU vote

Poland's prime minister called on MPs on Tuesday to set aside political divisions ahead of a vital vote on funding for the EU recovery fund.

On Tuesday afternoon, a special sitting the Sejm (lower house) is scheduled to vote on a draft law on ratifying an increase in the EU's own financial resources so it can finance the bloc's Recovery Fund.

The fund will provide billions of euros to help economies affected by the coronavirus pandemic but the EU cannot start borrowing for it until ratification by member states has taken place.

Speaking at a press conference Mateusz Morawiecki spoke about the need for parliamentary unity. "I hope that today's vote will be a vote above political divisions," he said.

Under its National Recovery Plan, Poland could receive some EUR 58.1 billion in grants and loans, including over EUR 34 billion this year from the fund.

Law and Justice, the dominant party in Poland’s United Right coalition, has struggled to win support for the plan from Solidary Poland, one of its junior allies, which claims it threatens Polish sovereignty and so will vote against ratification in Tuesday’s vote.

In a move to side-step Solidary Poland's blockade, Law and Justice turned to The Left, an opposition grouping, for support, which it secured after talks lasting until Sunday.

The prime minister pointed out that following consultations with The Left all points jointly agreed had been included in the National Recovery Plan, which has now been submitted to the European Commission in order to access money from the Recovery Fund.

"I hope that also MPs of the PSL (Polish People's Party - PAP), who after all have also been in a certain dialogue with us—not so intensive, but there was a dialogue—will also vote for the law on funds for Polish businesspeople, farmers, and above all for Polish workers," the prime minister added.

He said the funds were for various purposes and that the country should not deprive itself of them.

"I hope in relation to this that also Civic Platform, which is against these measures, will also end up deciding to vote in favour of the law, because I know that many people in Poland expect it," Morawiecki said.