Daniel Freund

5. March 2024 Democracy

EU Commission releases 137 billion Euros for Poland - even though the rule of law reforms have not been fulfilled yet

Last week, the EU Commission released a total of up to 137 billion Euros in EU funds for Poland. These funds from the Corona Recovery Fund and the Cohesion Fund had been frozen due to the years-long rule of law violations by the national-populist PiS government.

The new government under Prime Minister Donald Tusk has now presented an action plan for a fundamental reform of the justice system and, according to their own statements, is working on fulfilling the reform demands of the EU Commission. Certain actions have been undertaken, such as the accession to the EU Public Prosecutor’s Office. Nevertheless, other essential measures, like the reform of the National Judiciary Council, have been announced but not yet put into practice. President Duda, appointed by the PiS (Law and Justice) party, has already announced his intentions to continue blocking significant laws or seeking review from the Constitutional Tribunal which is still under PiS influence.

Daniel Freund, Member of the European Parliament for the Greens, comments:

“The Polish government is working diligently to repair the damage to the rule of law in Poland. However, eight years of systematic attacks by the right-wing populists of PiS cannot be rectified in just a few weeks. The swift release of frozen EU funds by the EU Commission could send the wrong signal: it appears that money from Brussels is available for reform promises, not necessarily for their actual implementation. This is dangerous.”

“The EU Commission is bound by rule of law procedures and must not give the impression that it is distributing political favors. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban probably feels like he was right in saying that EU funds are being held or released based on political reasons. The Polish government deserves recognition for its reform efforts and should receive EU funds in stages, provided that it keeps its promises of reforms. In doing so, the Polish government can exert the necessary pressure on President Duda to endorse the essential reform laws. A blanket release of all frozen EU funds is not the right way.”

Eight years of systematic attacks by the right-wing populists of PiS cannot be rectified in just a few weeks.


The EU can be our best tool in the fight against corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. But it must also be used in the right way. In the future, the EU should fight corruption much more decisively. That is why I have set up an Intergroup against corruption in the European Parliament.