All cohesion funds to Poland are being withheld by the European Commission until Warsaw meets all of Brussels’ conditions on the independence of the judiciary. Viktor Orbán called the announcement by the Brussels body a ‘disgrace.’
The European Commission “is not in a position to reimburse” Poland’s payment claims for some investments approved in the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, as long as the “enabling conditions” regarding the EU Charter of the Fundamental Rights are not fulfilled, spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker told journalists on Monday. According to Bloomberg, “Warsaw may lose out on as much as 75 billion euros in aid from the European Union for failing to comply with the bloc’s democratic standards.”
“Due to not having fulfilled the conditions regarding judicial independence, which is a long-time matter of dispute between the EU and the Polish government, the Commission will freeze the refunds for the payments proposed by the government in the country’s Partnership Agreement,” Euractiv explained.
“The dialogue between the Commission and the Polish government is ongoing, with the Commission expecting Poland to deliver proposals on what measures it will implement to fulfill the conditions,” the news portal added.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller told journalists on Monday that Warsaw has received no official statement from the European Commission about any decision to suspend the cohesion funds.
“If these media reports are confirmed, it will be clear that European institutions are continuing to meddle in Polish politics and trying to force Polish society to change the government in Poland,” Polish President Andrzej Duda reacted.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called the announcement by the Brussels body a disgrace.
Hungary has been negotiating with the European Commission in order to receive the funds to which the country is entitled. Tibor Navracsics, the Minister for Regional Development, recently explained in a podcast that the situation is very complex because the government has been negotiating basically on three separate points for almost six months: the rule of law conditionality procedure, the cohesion money, and the RRF funds. He remarked that these points are “allegedly separated, but of course, we could see that they are intertwined.”
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