Some European countries are already spending EU money from the post-pandemic recovery plan to improve the quality of life of their citizens. And Poland? In the European Commission’s report on the funds used and collected in our country, there is one figure – zero.
Money flows from Brussels to European capitals in a wide, regular stream. The implementation of the post-pandemic reconstruction plan has been going on for two and a half years. The EU budget allocated EUR 723 billion for loans and grants. So far, 153 billion of this amount has gone to member states.
Ursula von der Leyen has already visited most European capitals, where she gave a positive assessment of national reconstruction plans. Italy will definitely receive the most money, as much as EUR 191 billion. Next are Spain and France. In terms of amounts requested, the Polish reconstruction plan is currently in fourth place.
The Spanish are the fastest in completing the milestones and are the only ones who have already received four transfers – an advance payment and three tranches. The advance payment and two tranches were received by the Portuguese, Greeks, Slovaks, Italians and Croatians.
The European Commission is generally satisfied with the progress made so far, which it summarizes in its report. The first positive effects are already visible. Brussels calculates that thanks to the money from the recovery plan, only by the end of 2022, the entire EU managed to save 22 million megawatt hours of energy. Four million people were trained, and almost one and a half million companies received financial or material assistance.
– This is Europe at its best – says the head of the European Commission, satisfied with the progress in the implementation of the Recovery Fund, adding that the project, officially called the New Generation Union in Brussels, is on track to achieve its goals on time, i.e. by 2026 year. – At the same time, the Commission’s report emphasizes that the next three years will be a period of even more difficult and intensive work to achieve all milestones – informs Maciej Sokołowski, TVN24 and TVN24 BiS correspondent in Brussels.
Poland still without EU funds
The Italians are building 450 kilometers of high-speed rail routes, the Spanish are replacing diagnostic equipment in hospitals that is over 12 years old, the thermal modernization of private houses will be carried out in Slovakia, in Greece two thousand people with disabilities are provided with daily help from personal assistants, in Lithuania a farm of huge batteries has been built, which they provide energy security to the entire country – these are just a few of the completed investments, but the list is very long.
– I would say that the implementation of the reconstruction plan in Lithuania is progressing well. It is very important that the planned reforms and investments are implemented to strengthen the Lithuanian economy. We are currently talking about tax reform, which is the next milestone. Its implementation will enable the release of further funds, said Valdis Dombrovski, Vice-President of the European Space Commission and Commissioner for Trade.
Reconstruction plans involve not only physical investments, but also important reforms. Here are some examples praised by the European Commission: as part of equalizing professional opportunities, Croatia has introduced flexible working hours for parents, and Spain has legally established equal pay for women and men doing the same job. To support the development of future generations, Bulgaria has introduced compulsory preschool for children from the age of 4. There are plenty of these initiatives and you can find them on a special map. Only in Poland it is empty.
– While until now we were waiting for EUR 36 billion, now the amount recorded in the KPO amounts to EUR 60 billion. Poland sent an update of its plans and requested additional loans of EUR 23 billion. But the money is still not flowing because the Polish government cannot send the first payment application – this depends on milestones regarding the judiciary, i.e. the entry into force of the amendment to the Act on the Supreme Court agreed with the Commission. Without the act, there will be no application, without the application there will be no money and the only thing that changes is that there will be no more of it – points out the TVN24 and TVN24 BiS correspondent in Brussels.
The European Commission report lists progress and discusses particularly successful projects, but there are no examples from Poland. In the annex to the report, we can read that the implementation of the reconstruction plan in Poland is significantly delayed and no payments have been made. Warsaw submitted its plan late and therefore did not even receive an advance payment. Once again, the Commission emphasizes that strengthening the independence and impartiality of courts is a precondition for any payments.
Facts about the World TVN24 BiS
Main photo source: TVN24 BiS