The Commission gives the green light to finance its recovery plan with the votes against of the two vice-presidents, Margrethe Vestager and Frans Timmermans
Poland’s recovery plan has had the approval of the European Commission since Wednesday. Brussels has taken almost a year to approve the disbursement of 35,400 million euros to the country and the decision went ahead with the vote against by two of the vice presidents of the Community Executive, Margrethe Vestager and Frans Timmermans. The plan must now receive the green light from the European Council within a month.
The negotiations between Brussels and Warsaw have been a constant push and pull. The Executive of the Union had conditioned the disbursement of the Next Generation funds to the adoption of measures against corruption and guarantees of respect for the rule of law, after the anti-democratic drift of the ultra-conservative government of Mateusz Morawiecki.
In March, Brussels toughened its position and activated the conditionality mechanism that allows it to freeze the delivery of certain European funds to the country. The EU Court of Justice also called the attention of the Polish authorities and called for the dismantling of the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court, considering that its activity threatened judicial independence.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, the relationship between the Community Executive and Warsaw is experiencing a sweet moment. Poland has been one of the member states that has most firmly defended sanctions against Russia and has taken in a large number of refugees.
In any case, the funds will be subject to reforms that guarantee judicial independence in the country and a series of specific milestones that will unlock the aid in installments. Brussels will ensure compliance with these objectives and will deliver, based on them, the 23,900 million euros in direct payments and another 12,100 million in loans.
In addition to Poland, the Netherlands and Hungary are also pending to receive the recovery aid activated during the pandemic. The Netherlands has not yet submitted a plan and Hungary’s remains blocked due to its violations of the rule of law.