PM cautiously optimistic about EU unlocking recovery funds for Poland

Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has said that he is "cautiously optimistic" about Poland accessing EU post-pandemic funding.

Poland is due to receive EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in loans from the EU's post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility.

On Wednesday, Morawiecki said during a business conference in Poznan, western Poland, that he was "cautiously optimistic" about resolving the dispute with the EC over the judiciary and unblocking EU funds for Poland.

The European Commission (EC) has blocked Poland's access to the funding due to a rule-of-law dispute, despite the fact that the Commission has approved Poland's National Recovery Plan (KPO), which outlines how the government will spend the money.

The EC has set a number of conditions, or 'milestones,' for Poland to meet before the funding can be unblocked, one of which demands that Poland reverses, amends or withdraws changes to the judiciary system.

In January, the Sejm, the lower house of Polish parliament, passed an amendment to the law on the Supreme Court. The amendment proposes that all disciplinary issues concerning judges be settled by the top administrative court instead of Supreme Court's Chamber of Professional Responsibility, a body created to replace a disciplinary chamber considered by the EC to be politicised.

At that time, Andrzej Duda, the president of Poland, decided to ask the Constitutional Tribunal (TK) to assess the amendment's compliance with the constitution, which he described as a "preventative measure."

"I did what I could do in this respect. The decision of the Constitutional Tribunal is being awaited. I do not know what it will be and when it will be made," Morawiecki commented.