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137 billion euros from the EU for Poland

Poland can plan billions in payments from Brussels. Until now, EU funds had been frozen. Commission President von der Leyen announced that she wanted to release the money. “We will put it to good use,” said Poland's Prime Minister Tusk.

The EU Commission wants 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 release the funds. “These decisions will free up 137 billion euros for Poland.” Von der Leyen said she was impressed by Poland's efforts to restore the rule of law. “A strong constitutional state also means a more resilient society, and that is needed more than ever.”

“That's a lot of money”

After taking office, the new pro-European Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk initiated reforms to reverse decisions made by the previous government under the right-wing conservative PiS party. Tusk welcomed the announcement: “That's a lot of money,” said Tusk. “We'll put it to good use.”

The release is expected to give a boost to the country's economy. This includes 60 billion euros from the EU's Corona aid fund alone. A further 76.5 billion euros come from the Cohesion Fund, which is intended to equalize living standards among the 27 EU states.

Conflict between the EU and the PiS government

The EU froze the money, among other things because of the justice and media policies of the then right-wing nationalist PiS government. It also initiated a procedure that could lead to sanctions against any EU member that disregards the EU's democratic values.

The PiS government had, among other things, implemented controversial judicial reforms that, from the point of view of the European Court of Justice, endanger the independence of the judges there. The EU also criticized a ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court, according to which parts of EU law were incompatible with Poland's constitution.

Tusk had announced that he wanted to defuse the conflict with Brussels and work respectfully with the EU partners. “No maneuvers, no games, no attempts to change the EU treaties against our interests. That is out of the question at all,” Tusk made clear. Shortly after he took office in December, the EU released around five billion euros for environmentally friendly energy projects.

Martin Adam, ARD Warsaw, tagesschau, February 23, 2024 3:08 p.m

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