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EU To Unblock €137 Billion Funds For Poland

23.02.2024 19:57

Brussels will unblock funds, 2 months into new Polish government’s overhaul of judicial reforms introduced by previous administration.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Friday that EU funds allocated to Poland, previously blocked due to the outgoing Polish government's contentious judicial reforms, will now be released.

"I've got good news. Two decisions will be made regarding European funds that are currently blocked for Poland. These decisions will free up to €137 billion ($148 billion) for Poland," she said at a press conference in Warsaw.

Poland's Justice Minister, Adam Bodnar, had presented a package of laws aimed at addressing the concerns of the European Commission in Brussels earlier in the week. He emphasized that the reforms in the justice system were designed explicitly to persuade the Commission to unblock the funds.

Polish and EU diplomats said a few months ago that if €60 billion funds in the post-COVID National Recovery Plan (KPO) are unblocked, then EU cohesion funds and Next Generation funds will be automatically unblocked, a further €76 billion for Poland's regions.

Following a Commission meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, the decision will require approval from EU member states, with the funds potentially being disbursed between March and April.

"Together we will protect the rule of law throughout Europe. I am pleased with the action plan presented by the government. It's a strong statement. This is a clear road map for Poland," said von der Leyen.

"This is an important day for all of us," said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, adding that talks with the head of the European Commission covered security, Ukraine and agriculture issues, including farmers' protests that have blocked roads and rail tracks in recent weeks.

"We also talked about the situation of farmers. I really admire the hard work that farmers do so that we can enjoy healthy food on our tables. They face many challenges and worry about their future, and this is justified. That's why we listen and act. Europe is already supporting Polish farmers by offering €22 billion through the Common Agricultural Policy," said von der Leyen, adding that another €1.4 billion will be available to Polish farmers.

She also announced that the EU's road transport agreement regarding Ukrainian exports would be updated. "We have taken your concerns fully into account. Today, exports from Ukraine via the Black Sea have been increased, which is good because it relieves the burden on land borders. Now we should focus on supporting Ukraine and rebuilding its exports to the whole world," she said.

"Tomorrow we will celebrate two years since Russia attacked Ukraine. We support Ukraine. Ukrainians are fighting against tyranny and for democracy and we will support them as long as necessary," she added.

"Thank you very much for understanding all Polish concerns," added Tusk. -

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