The National Reconstruction Plan (KPO) assumes that Poland will receive billions of euros in support from the European Union. The disbursement of these funds, however, is strictly dependent on the fulfillment of certain requirements, the so-called milestones. How many and what milestones does Poland have to meet in order to receive the money? What reforms and changes are included in the milestones?
● Payment of money under the National Reconstruction Plan depends on the achievement of so-called milestones.
● Poland undertook to implement 115 milestones, and in total to meet about 300 different types of requirements.
● Milestones have been defined for all six KPO components.
● First, there are three milestones in judicial independence. Without this, Poland will not receive any funds under the KPO.
On Wednesday, June 1 The European Commission gave a positive opinion on the Polish National Reconstruction Plan. As a day later reported in Warsaw the President of the European Commission Ursula van der Leyen “The European Commission gave the green light to the Polish KPO yesterday after a very in-depth assessment“However, this does not mean an automatic payment of funds from the KPO to Poland.
Milestones – what is it?
The payment will be made in tranches, and as a condition for receiving each of them specific requirements have been defined by the Union, the so-called milestoneswhich the beneficiary must fulfill in advance. Only after verification that the indicated milestones have been achieved, will subsequent tranches of EU money for Poland be released.
Each milestone is precisely defined with 238 pages Annex to the EC implementation decision giving a positive opinion on the Polish KPO (working translation in Polish). As summarized by the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy, we are obliged to introduce jointly under the KPO 48 reforms linked to 115 milestones. In total, Poland is obliged to meet about 300 different types of requirements – in addition to milestones also referred to as, inter alia, indicators and goals.
The milestones that Poland is committed to implementing apply to everyone six parts (components) of the National Reconstruction Plan:
● A – Resilience and competitiveness of the economy,
● B – Green energy and reduction of energy consumption,
● C – Digital transformation,
● D – Effectiveness, availability and quality of the health care system,
● E – Green and intelligent mobility,
● F – Improving the quality of institutions and conditions for the implementation of KPO.
The requirements facing Poland, defined as milestones, are very different. As part of Component A, it is, for example, the reform of the Polish tax system, within which milestones have been formulated, such as developing a new system for classifying and managing the state budget and assessing its functioning in 2019-2023 stabilizing expenditure rule. Another An important reform under Component A is the reduction of regulatory and administrative burdens for entrepreneurs, under which Poland undertook to introduce packages to simplify and digitize a number of procedures and procedures (the so-called Legal Shield) and to develop the existing special economic zones through, inter alia, increasing their area by 30 percent (the so-called Polish Investment Zone).
Component B includes commitments such as the development of the Clean Air program, construction of wind farms in the Baltic Sea and an increase in the use of renewable energy sources. Among the milestones assigned to them are, among others the requirement to introduce quality standards for solid fuels from biomass, the construction of installations for the production of low-emission hydrogen and the modernization of energy storage infrastructure.
Component C digital transformation includes, inter alia, digitization of school examination systems, popularization of the availability of high-speed internet with a bandwidth of at least 100Mb / s and the elimination of barriers to the implementation of 5G technology. Component D is to ensure, among others, oncological and cardiological care at the same level for everyone, regardless of where they live.
Component E includes milestones, among others introducing a requirement to buy only low-emission and zero-emission buses in cities with more than 100,000 residents, the purchase of 110 new trams and the amendment to the act on electromobility and alternative fuels. The last component F, on the other hand, includes changes to the Polish judicial system and the creation of a legal framework for the effective implementation of the entire KPO.
The implementation of the milestones is to be gradual and completed by 2026.
Three milestones in ensuring the independence of the judiciary
Out of 115 milestones President of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen, also distinguished three special stones, the implementation of which in the first place is a condition for the payment of any funds under the KPO. These three milestones are concerned with “ensuring the independence of the judiciary” and are found in strand F. These are:
● Liquidation of the Disciplinary Chamber and replacement of its duties by a new body● Reform of the disciplinary system for judges and prohibition of disciplinary punishment for the content of issued court decisions● Re-examination of cases examined so far by the Disciplinary Chamber, including those removing some judges from adjudication.
The time to complete these three milestones is by the end of the second quarter of 2022. Only after their implementation, it will be possible to submit the first application for payment of funds by the European Commission. These payments will also depend on the timely fulfillment of other requirements contained in the KPO. If the indicated milestones are not met, EU funds will not go to Poland despite the fact that the European Commission has formally approved the KPO itself.
National Reconstruction Plan
KPO is a program aimed at strengthening the Polish economy and helping to overcome difficulties caused, inter alia, by COVID-19 pandemic. Within its framework, Poland applies for EUR 23.9 billion in the form of grants and EUR 11.5 billion in the form of loans. In total, it is EUR 35.4 billion, i.e. approx. PLN 161 billion according to the exchange rate set by the European Central Bank of May 3, 2021.
tvn24.pl, European Commission, gov.pl
Main photo source: PAP