Recovery Fund ratification not a step towards federalism - dep FM

Poland's ratification of an increase in the EU's own financial resources for a post-pandemic Recovery Fund is not a step towards federalism, but a step towards modernisation and a rapid exit from the Covid crisis, a deputy foreign minister has said.

On Tuesday, the lower house of parliament, the Sejm, ratified the European Union's EUR 750 billion Recovery Fund aimed to prop up European economies battered by the coronavirus crisis.

The vote went through with 290 MPs in favour, 33 against and 133 abstentions.

The ruling United Right bloc had to strike an agreement with the opposition party, the Left, to win the vote as one of United Right's partners, the nationalist Solidary Poland, refused to endorse the fund, citing sovereignty concerns, and voted against it.

Critics of the fund have also claimed that it will hasten the onset of a federal Europe.

But speaking on public television on Wednesday, Marcin Przydacz rebuffed allegations that the vote was a step towards EU federalism.

"No, I think those are too far-reaching conclusions," he said. "We took a step towards modernisation, an accelerated economic development of Poland and a rapid exit from the crisis."

He also played down fears that the European Commission being able to issue common bonds will mean that some countries will take on the debts of others.

Przydacz said that "everyone will be responsible for their own debts, there is no talk of making debts communal, each economy will answer for its own indebtedness." He added that the eurobonds "are more financially productive from the point of view of all 27 economies" than those of individual member states.

"I'm glad it was possible to build a parliamentary consensus around that bill, that a large part of the parliament rose to the occasion," he continued. "It doesn't please me that there were also those who considered internal, party interests above the interests of the Polish economy.

"Solidary Poland had long ago announced it would vote one way rather than another," he added on the subject of Law and Justice's junior coalition partner. "It also shows that in the ruling coalition itself, in the United Right, different types of discussions appear, which is evidence of its viability."

He went on to say the first money from the Recovery Fund should reach Poland in the autumn after all EU member states had ratified the deal.

Poland stands to gain around EUR 58 billion from the fund.