The National Reconstruction Plan has not been approved by the European Commission so far due to the doubts raised by the Polish government regarding the superiority of EU law over national law. On Wednesday in the Sejm, parliamentarians discussed the government’s information on the final wording of the KPO in the version including public consultations and EC conclusions. According to opposition representatives, the lack of a green light from Brussels means that money from the KPO is “at risk”.
The European Commission is withholding the approval of the Polish National Reconstruction Plan, which is to be the basis for the payment of money from the Reconstruction Fund – the government at this stage applied for EUR 36 billion. At the beginning of September, EU commissioners signaled that delaying the decision on the disbursement of funds is related to the doubts raised by Poland regarding the superiority of EU law over national law.
On Wednesday, a session of the Sejm was held, at which in the afternoon parliamentarians heard the government’s information on the final wording of the National Reconstruction Plan in the version including public consultations and conclusions of the European Commission.
READ THE RELATIONSHIP: In the Sejm, the government’s information on the National Reconstruction Plan
Buda: As part of the KPO negotiations, we agreed to increase the production of renewable energy
As Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy Waldemar Buda said, the content of the plan sent to the European Commission at the beginning of May is known, because from 30 April it has been displayed on the pages of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.
– As part of the negotiations with the European Commission on the KPO, an important element of the discussion was the issue of decarbonisation and increasing the share of RES (renewable energy sources – ed.) In the economy. The Commission wanted us to declare the amount of energy from RES to be purchased under the three scheduled auctions. But we convinced the European Commission to stick to the number of auctions without specifying their parameters, because it is currently difficult to predict how much energy will have to be purchased in 2023-24, said Waldemar Buda.
He added that during the negotiations, Poland agreed to increase the amount of energy produced from RES. – We took up a big challenge. Earlier, we planned 18.5 GW by 2026 in the national documents. But during the negotiations we agreed to increase this amount to 23.5 GW, so we significantly raised the ceiling compared to the original plans – said Buda.
He added that the European Commission wanted to ensure a small share of gas in the supply of new installations when replacing stoves with new heat sources. – We managed to negotiate a 40% share of gas in the exchanged heat sources – said the deputy minister.
Buda: as a result of the actions of the Senate, Poland was the last country to adopt the ratification act
He also explained that the European Commission linked the issue of housing expenditure with the parameters related to the energy consumption of new buildings. He stated that at the beginning Brussels wanted the buildings to meet “Portuguese parameters”, but managed to convince her to others that could be realized in Polish conditions, thanks to which EUR 755 million will be allocated to housing.
As part of the negotiations with the European Commission – as Waldemar Buda said in the Sejm – the issue of expenses for the care of children up to 3 years of age was raised, as a result of which Poland undertook to increase the number of new care places from 36 thousand to 47.4 thousand. The Commission also wanted the number of long-term care beds to increase by 35 percent by 2026, but ultimately dropped to 6 percent. increase compared to 2019, Waldemar Buda also said that the government undertook to introduce such changes in the way of legislating, so that public consultations were possible also in the case of parliamentary bills – as well as Senate bills.
– There were no expectations other than these topics. So in KPO there is what was in it on April 30, and what I said here – said the Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy.
He pointed out that currently, out of 27 Member States, 25 have submitted their plans to the European Commission – the Netherlands and Bulgaria have not done so. Of the 25 countries, 18 have pre-approval and 13 of them have already received advance payments. He argued that the delay in the adoption of the KPO by the European Commission was due to the fact that Poland was the last to adopt the act ratifying the aid mechanism.
– On May 3, we gathered here in the Sejm to adopt the ratification act. Unfortunately, as a result of the actions of the Senate, Poland was the last country to adopt this law, said Buda. He also added that he hoped the KPO would be approved in the next few weeks.
Leszczyna (KO): you are blocking funds that Poland needs very much
In the Sejm, deputy Andrzej Koszowniak (PiS) reminded that Poland “from all sources is to receive 136 billion 400 million euros in subsidies and 34 billion 200 million euros in loans”. – This is a huge negotiating success of the Polish government and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki – he pointed out. He expressed hope that the money would allow Poland to develop effectively in the coming years.
– The KPO was prepared in the right parameters and at the right time – assured the MP, emphasizing the dozens of consultations on the KPO. The MP called for “deep support for this project”.
According to Izabela Leszczyna (KO), “if it were not for the PiS government, authoritarian, undemocratic, and notoriously breaking Polish and EU law, money from the KPO would save lives by supporting the collapsing health care system.”
The deputy accused the prime minister and deputy minister of funds and regional policy, Waldemar Buda, of a “festival of lies”. – Minister Buda claims that there are more member states in a similar situation to Poland. Again a lie. Only the oligarchic Hungary of Prime Minister Orban is in the same situation as we are. You cannot compare the countries that have not yet submitted the KPO, or the countries that are under negotiation with Poland, about which the minister said that on July 12 they completed negotiations, and the European Commission suspends its positive opinion – another lie – she pointed out.
As she said, “gentlemen from PiS, (…) you are blocking funds that Poland needs very much”.
“Today the situation is such that the European Commission does not want to just give us this money”
Beata Maciejewska (Left) drew attention to the fact that during the Sejm information, “there is basically no one in the government benches except for Minister Buda”. As she said, from a technical point of view, maybe everything is fine, but from a political and substantive point of view, nothing is fine. – PiS goes into conflict with the EU and treats this fund today not as the National Plan for the Reconstruction of Poland, but as a fund that is to be a government or party plan to rebuild the PiS poll – she assessed. In her opinion, the money from this plan is “at risk”. – Today the situation is such that the European Commission does not want to just give us this money – she added.
Andrzej Grzyb from the Polish Coalition accused the ruling party that the final shape of the KPO was presented to the European Commission without the participation of the Polish parliament. – If there was more good will in the conversation with the Polish parliament, we would probably avoid many difficulties related to the approval of the KPO – he assessed.
According to the MP Robert Winnicki (Confederation) “no money from the EU, no economy in the last 40 or 50 years, has not built”. – If they built, today the most developed economically countries would be the countries from southern Europe, where the most of this money was sent, to Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy. Because even the largest subsidies and subsidies do not build the country’s economic structure, he said.
MP Paulina Hennig-Kloska (Poland 2050) indicated that a dozen or so countries have already approved KPO, 12 received the first payments. – Where’s our money? – she asked. She requested that the government’s information be disregarded on this matter.
Monika Pawłowska (Understanding), in turn, assured that the Morawiecki government would have their support in the matter of KPO.
Main photo source: PAP / Mateusz Marek