EU delays Recovery Plan to exert pressure on Poland: expert

“The European Commission is exploiting the opportunity to block EU funds coming to Poland. This is a big problem for the current government because it already promised to the Polish society billions of euros that will flow to Poland,” Marcin Kędzierski, expert at the Klub Jagielloński think tank said in an interview for Poland IN’s World Today.

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Click here to watch the full interview.

Mr Kędzierski was asked whether Poland is experiencing some kind of blackmail from the European Commission regarding the European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni’s statement that there will be no funds if the Polish Constitutional Court rules that Polish law stands above EU law.

“So far there were no legal procedures that allow European institutions to block or to stop sending EU funds to Warsaw. Currently, within the recovery and resilience funds there is such an opportunity and I think that European institutions, especially the European Commission will exploit that opportunity until the very end,” the expert from Klub Jagielloński stressed.

He added that the dispute between Poland and the EU was unavoidable, with some European institutions just waiting for an opportunity to undermine the Polish government. “The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) is now under pressure both from Brussels and their internal electorate,” the think tank analyst emphasised.

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Mr Kędzierski was also asked if Poland could manage without the EU funds. He answered that it is a “glass half full half empty” issue, with the government having already promised Polish society billions of euros. “Now it would be difficult to go back on that promise while explaining that Poland and maybe Hungary are the only two countries without EU recovery funds,” he said.

“The Polish government is in a really tough position. I have an impression that European elites would like to exploit this instrument in order to change the government in Poland. We have to bear in mind that that may occur not in 2023 but earlier in 2022 and if we add to that rising price levels or rising inflation and lack of European transfers, it would be really difficult for Law and Justice to win the next general elections,” the expert from Klub Jagielloński said.

He added that other European countries are aware that a similar political weapon could be used in the future against them. Moreover this strategy stands in the way of European integration. Keeping in mind what happened with the UK during Brexit, “this strategy is really risky not only from the Polish point of view but from the European point of view,” Mr Kędzierski concluded.