Poland ready to fight for EU funds, says minister

Poland will fight for EU funds even though it can manage without them, a government minister has claimed.

Question marks over Polish access to some EU funding have started to appear owing to a number of significant disputes between Brussels and Warsaw.

There is now speculation that a recent ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal on the primacy of the country's constitution over EU law may affect the European Commission's acceptance of Poland's National Recovery Plan.

The plan lays out how Poland intends to spend up to some EUR 58.1 billion, including EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 34.2 billion in loans, in EU funding intended to help the country recover from the effects of the Covid pandemic.

Jaroslaw Sellin, deputy culture minister, said on Thursday: "Poland can surely manage without EU funds but we do not plan to give up on them."

He added that, despite the fact that this year's budget surplus was likely to reach PLN 80 billion (EUR 17.4 billion), Poland did not plan to give up fighting for funds it has the right to get.

"We will be fighting for these funds, both from the 2021-2027 financial perspective and the National Recovery Plan, and we will receive them as they are due to us," Sellin said.

Poland submitted its draft of the National Recovery Plan to the European Commission on May 3 and it requires the approval of the EU before the funds can be accessed.

European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Paolo Gentiloni appeared to suggest some time ago that negotiations between Brussels and Warsaw on Poland's National Recovery Plan were being drawn out by Poland calling into question the supremacy of EU law.