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Poland has the ability to benefit from European Union funds, which Hungary does not yet have

Poland has the ability to benefit from European Union funds, which Hungary does not yet have

Next week the European Commission will begin releasing up to €137 billion in EU funds frozen on rule of law grounds to Poland. Announce Ursula von der Leyen. The Chairman of the Committee spoke about this in Warsaw, where he discussed with Donald Tusk, who came to power after the elections last October, accompanied by Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, who holds the rotating presidency of the Council of Europe. Member States. One of Tuski's campaign promises was to lift the freeze by implementing expected reforms in exchange for money, and the Polish government presented a plan to member states this week.

European Commission

  • Withholding more than 70 billion euros in catch-up aid to Poland from the regular EU budget,
  • Which can now only obtain a bridge advance of about 60 billion euros from the extra-budget recovery fund, which partly consists of loans.

For the latter, the Polish government has to meet three preconditions, “super-milestones,” for any regular payment. This can be accepted by the Council of Member States after the committee's evaluation, but the funds are not awarded all at once, but usually in exchange for additional achievements. As in Hungary, the freeze in Poland does not affect, for example, agricultural subsidies.

By comparison: for rule of law reasons, the Hungarian budget now does not have access to approximately €10-10 billion in catch-up and recovery funds, while judicial reform has opened the way to more than €10 billion in tax reforms. former. Here, not all at once, but in exchange for achieved developments and bills (we wrote about the topic here last time). At the same time, the European Commission expected to adopt and promulgate the necessary laws to adopt the Hungarian measures, and also requested clarifications and detailed rules in two rounds.

Even the European Commission did not know exactly how much money had been spent

Ursula von der Leyen stressed on Monday: “We admire your efforts and the efforts of the Polish people to restore the rule of law, which is the backbone of society.” He welcomed the Polish plan and said so

“Together we will protect the rule of law across Europe.”

Based on the reforms already underway and the immediate steps taken towards judicial independence, I have “good news.” Next week, the EU body will make two decisions on the frozen funds, which will free up “up to 137 billion euros” of catch-up and recovery funds. The EU Prosecutor's Office guarantees these resources – and noted that, in contrast to many member states, including Hungary, Poland will join the organization with the new government.

European Commission Daily In his press conference At the same time, they were unable to determine the exact amount of 137 billion euros. According to spokeswoman Ariana Podesta, this will be revealed during the official decision next week. Economic Affairs Spokesman Verle Nuyts confirmed that the Board of Directors will positively evaluate the three major milestones of the Recovery Fund and the first Polish payment request worth 6.3 billion euros.

The Hungarian government has to complete 27 of these major milestones, but the judicial reform adopted so far only means four of them, so – like the Polish reform – it has so far only received approximately €1 billion of a bypass advance from the recovery fund. The council evaluated some of the conditions last December and found that not all conditions were met.

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Jogés Ijágságószág, which entered the opposition, Hungarian government politicians often claim that the actions of the new Polish leadership violate the rule of law. We've written more about the debates surrounding the demonstrations, the arrests of opposition politicians, and the radical transformation of state media here.

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