EU decides to unblock first recovery funds to Poland


Poland received by the European Commission a positive assessment for its revised recovery plan and due to the positive assessment, it will receive €5.1 billion in EU funds as part of the European Union’s REPowerEU programme, in a reconciliation move after recent election may place pro-EU Donald Tusk as Poland’s Prime Minister.

The programme seeks to help EU member states to cope with the energy crisis brought by Russian invasion of Ukraine. It aims also to help EU countries to lower their dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

The decision to unblock funds happened a month after Tusk visited Brussels to rekindle relationships between the bloc and Poland. Currently, the EU is blocking the disbursement of €34.5 billion in recovery funds due to concerns of the rule of law in the country. According to the European Commission, Poland still needs to reach some specific milestones before the rest of the money is released, including ensuring the independence of the judiciary.

Ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) had a spat with European institution over several reforms during its eight-year tenure, in particular on control over the judiciary by the executive and legislative branch.

At recent elections on October 15, PiS was still the most voted party but didn’t get enough votes to form a government. A group of pro-EU parties helmed by Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) is expecting Polish President Andrzej Duda for the mandate to form a government by mid-December.

Meanwhile, the funds from REPowerEU are expected to be green-lighted in the next four weeks by the EU, most likely at the EU finance ministers next meeting of December 8.

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