Tusk says governing party blocking EU funds due Poland

Piotr Nowak/PAP

Donald Tusk, the leader of the European People's Party (EPP) and of Poland's main opposition party, Civic Platform, has attributed Poland’s failure to secure EU pandemic recovery funds to the actions of top politicians from the ruling Law and Justice party.

Five European Parliament parties, including the EPP, on Tuesday appealed to the European Commission (EC) to suspend post-Covid recovery funds for Poland after the country's top court questioned the primacy of EU law.

Reacting to the move, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, said that Tusk's EPP and Civic Platform (PO) had both demanded the EC rejects Poland's Recovery Plan, which means the country would not receive an advance payment of funds for projects covered by it.

Reacting to Morawiecki's comment, Tusk told the Witualna Polska web portal on Friday that: "Today, the only forces blocking the European money owed to Poland are PiS (Law and Justice - PAP), (Justice) Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and (PiS leader) Jarosław Kaczyński."

He said that Morawiecki and Kaczyński, despite their public declarations did not want to fulfil their obligations.

"When it comes to money for Poland, the condition is very simple, and has been articulated and confirmed by Morawiecki and Kaczyński... this is a withdrawal from these disastrous ideas of Minister Ziobro regarding the judicial system, judges and the so-called Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court," Tusk said.

Poland's government has been embroiled in a number of protracted conflicts with the EU in several areas, most notably over the country's changes to the justice system which, according to Brussels, violate judicial independence. Poland insists it has the right to restructure its own justice system without EU interference.