EU Unfreezes €137 Billion in Funds for Poland, Encouraging Economic Recovery and Rule of Law

In a significant development, the European Union has unlocked €137 billion in funds for Poland, marking a pivotal moment for the country’s economic resurgence and commitment to upholding the rule of law. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s announcement in Warsaw heralds a new chapter in EU-Poland relations, emphasizing the positive impact of restoring democratic values and fostering resilient societies amid challenging times.

€137 Billion EU Funds for Poland

Poland can expect to receive billions in payments from Brussels. The EU funds had been previously frozen. Commission President von der Leyen announced the intention to release the funds. “We will use it well,” said Poland’s Prime Minister Tusk.

The EU Commission plans to release frozen funds for Poland. “I have good news,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during a visit to Warsaw. Next week, the Brussels authority will make two decisions to free up the funds. “These decisions will release €137 billion for Poland.” Von der Leyen further stated she was impressed by Poland’s efforts to restore the rule of law. “A strong rule of law also means a more resilient society, which is needed now more than ever.”

“That’s a Lot of Money”

The new pro-European Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk initiated reforms upon taking office to reverse decisions made by the previous government under the right-wing PiS party. Tusk welcomed the announcement: “That’s a lot of money,” he said. “We will use it well.”

The release is expected to boost the country’s economy. It includes €60 billion from the EU’s Covid recovery fund alone. Another €76.5 billion comes from the cohesion fund, aimed at equalizing living standards among the 27 EU states.

Conflict between the EU and the PiS Government

The EU had frozen the funds, partly due to the judiciary and media policies of the former right-wing PiS government. Additionally, the EU initiated a procedure that could lead to sanctions against any EU member that disregards the democratic values of the EU.

The PiS government had implemented controversial judicial reforms, seen to jeopardize the independence of local judges by the European Court of Justice. Criticism from the EU also stemmed from a Polish constitutional court ruling that some EU laws were incompatible with Poland’s constitution. Tusk had pledged to de-escalate the conflict with Brussels and collaborate respectfully with EU partners. “No maneuvers, no plays, no attempts to change EU treaties against our interests. That is out of the question,” Tusk stated. Shortly after taking office in December, the EU had released around €5 billion for eco-friendly energy projects.