EU Commission and Poland reach "milestones" National Recovery Plan negotiations
Negotiators have finished work this week regarding Poland's National Recovery Plan, reaching milestones which will now be presented to the European Commission for acceptance, a Polish government spokesman told PAP news agency on Friday.
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."
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.
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.
The EU's top court has also imposed fines of 1 million euros a day for Poland failing to disband the chamber, but the ruling camp is divided over how to implement the changes.
A set of proposals drawn up by President Andrzej Duda, an ally of ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS) will form the basis of the reforms, lawmakers say, but junior coalition partner United Poland is demanding amendments.
The party, led by the architect of reforms Brussels says undermine the independence of the courts, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, has said it believes an impartiality test for judges contained in Duda's proposals could paralyse the legal system.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters
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