Poland says it is close to EU approval for COVID recovery cash
Poland expects the European Union to unblock billions of euros in COVID-19 recovery funds in the coming days, a government spokesman said on Friday, after negotiators reached "milestones" in talks over the approval of its National Recovery Plan.
Poland's plan, under which it could get 23.9 billion euros in grants and 12.1 billion in very cheap loans, has been stuck in the Commission since May 2021 because of accusations the ruling eurosceptic PiS party has been subjecting the country's courts to political control. "Both the team from the Polish side and the team that was created by the President of the European Commission, reached an agreement on the content of 'milestones'," Piotr Muller said, adding that the 'milestones' had been forwarded to the European Commission.
"In the next few days, the National Recovery Plan should be formally approved." The European Union says Warsaw must implement a ruling from the bloc's top court that requires it to dissolve a contested disciplinary chamber for judges in order to get the 36 billion euros of grants and loans, and lawmakers have been working on a compromise to implement these changes.
A European Commission spokesperson said that in order for the plan to be approved Poland must commit to dismantling the disciplinary chamber, reforming the disciplinary regime and to reinstating judges that Brussels says have been dismissed unlawfully. "We are finalising our work with Poland on milestones and targets on all three points," the spokesperson said.
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