Daniel Freund

25. March 2022 Anti-Corruption

Group Chairs in the European Parliament to Von der Leyen: No recovery funds to Poland without an independent judiciary!

In a joint letter, the leaders of the Socialist, Liberal, Green and Left groups in the Parliament appealed to Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen (CDU) yesterday (Thursday) not to release the recovery funds for Poland until the rule of law has been restored. There has been an increasing amount of reports in recent days about the approval of the Polish recovery plan by the EU Commission being imminent.

The approval of the plan is a prerequisite for the disbursement of funds to the Member States. Poland would receive 23.9 billion euros in grants and a 12.1 billion euro loan from the fund. Although the Polish government had already submitted its recovery plan to the Commission in May 2021, the latter had so far postponed the approval due to serious rule of law concerns.

Daniel Freund, Green member of the Budgetary Control Committee, comments: 

“For years, the PiS government in Poland has been attacking the independent judiciary and refusing to implement the numerous rulings of the European Court of Justice made in this context. Even the situation on the border with Ukraine has not stopped the government from further undermining the rule of law. Since the beginning of the war alone, the government has illegally appointed more than 200 hand-picked judges.”

“In these times, it is more than ever our duty to defend democracy and the rule of law in the European Union. This includes not rewarding those who systematically undermine these principles with financial subsidies. Poland has still not fulfilled the conditions for disbursement of the recovery aid. The ball is clearly in the court of the government in Warsaw. The rule of law in Poland must not become a victim of the war in Ukraine.”

The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility

The Recovery and Resilience Facility is part of a comprehensive crisis management plan launched by the EU after the outbreak of the pandemic. It aims to mitigate the economic and social impact of the Corona pandemic and to better prepare Member States for the challenges and opportunities of environmental and digital change.

The Facility will provide a total of €385.8 billion in loans and €338 in grants to Member States. This makes it the largest EU economic stimulus package ever. To qualify for the support, Member States must submit national recovery and resilience plans to be approved by the EU Commission, detailing reforms and investments to be implemented by the end of 2026.

The joint letter is available on the website of the Greens/EFA Group.