There are many indications that the current opposition will take over power in Poland. It is not known when this will happen. It is known that among the priorities of the new government will be the mobilization of funds for the National Reconstruction Plan. What needs to happen for this to happen?
Almost EUR 60 billion for KPO and EUR 75 billion from cohesion funds – these are all funds that will not flow to our country until there are changes in the Polish judiciary. In the case of the reconstruction fund, the Polish government cannot even send an application for the first tranche, because it depends on meeting the conditions, to which the government of Mateusz Morawiecki has committed itself, but has not yet implemented it.
– There is a plan prepared by the Polish authorities on the table, there have been many stages of negotiations within this process and at the moment nothing changes in connection with the results of the elections in Poland – says Eric Mamer, spokesman for the European Commission.
The so-called “super milestones”, without which no payments will start, concern changes in the regulations regarding the disciplinary system of Polish judges. A year ago, when Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk became the new Minister for European Affairs, his task was to develop an act that would, on the one hand, gain the approval of the Sejm and, on the other hand, allow the European Commission to give the green light for payments from the reconstruction fund. After several weeks of talks, the bill was ready, but the president sent it to the Constitutional Tribunal, where it was stuck for many months, and the judges, led by Julia Przyłębska, are not even able to convene to deal with the case. Just as Poland is waiting for money, Brussels is waiting for Warsaw to move.
– I can confirm that we have informed the Polish authorities that this law may solve the problem, (…) but now we have no choice but to wait for the decision of the Constitutional Tribunal – said Vera Jourova, deputy head of the European Commission, in July.
The new law may not solve the problem
The new government, even if it is formed quickly, does not have the instruments to speed up the work of the quarreling Tribunal. The first possibility of changing judges will appear only in December 2024, when the terms of office of three judges, including Julia Przyłębska, will end.
The new Sejm can also bypass the problem by preparing a new law on the Supreme Court that will fulfill the milestones, but this law will also end up on the desk of the same president, who can again refer it to the same Tribunal – and so the circle closes.
While we can still wait for funds from the cohesion funds, reaching for all the money from the reconstruction fund is becoming less and less realistic, because with each passing month it is becoming more and more difficult to implement the reforms and investments planned until 2026, and which most countries have been implementing for two years now.
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Main photo source: PAP