Saturday, June 22, 2024

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Poland expects EU funds

In 2024 approximately PLN 77 billion (€18 billion) will go to Poland from the National Reconstruction Plan, according to  the Deputy Minister of Finance Hanna Majszczyk.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said during a press conference on January 29 that the Polish government enjoys the trust of strategic partners abroad and therefore he does not see any risks in unlocking EU money for Poland’s National Reconstruction Plan (KPO). The KPO is a program from which Poland is to receive €59.82 billion (PLN 261.4 billion), including €25.3 billion in the form of subsidies and €34.5 billion in preferential loans. Most of these funds will be invested in the form of financial instruments, which will enable the implementation of projects after 2026, for the next 30 years. 

“In 2024, we predict that approximately PLN 77 billion (€18 billion) will go to Poland from the National Reconstruction Plan (KPO),” according to a statement from the Deputy Minister of Finance Hanna Majszczyk. “In addition to what was planned and what was received at the end of last year in this advance part, approximately PLN 37 billion is expected from the grant part and approximately PLN 40 billion as a loan,” Majszczyk said.

On December 28, the Minister of Funds and Regional Policy Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz announced that Poland had received €5 billion from the RePowerEU program, which is part of the KPO. It was an advance payment from the RePowerEU plan, which was negotiated by PiS officials and politicians. The grant portion of the advance, more than €550 million (about PLN 2.5 billion), is being used for ongoing investment financing by the Polish Development Fund. So far, more than PLN 53 million has been disbursed. 

In mid-December 2023. Poland sent the European Commission its first payment request for nearly €7 billion, including nearly €2.8 billion from the grant part and €4.2 billion from the loan. According to the Ministry of Funds, the funds will be used for, among other things, legal facilitation for companies, increased innovation and digitization of businesses, facilitation for medical students, more efficient management of the Maluch Plus program’s financing, increased road safety and the entry into force of the Law on Social Economy. Disbursement of funds from the first KPO payment request can be expected in April 2024.

Implementation of the KPO, implementation of EU programs from the 2021-2027 financial perspective, the future of the Cohesion Policy after 2027 and Poland’s presidency in 2025 were discussed at the two-day visit (January 10-11) of the Minister of Funds and Regional Policy Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz to Brussels, where she met the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Nicolas Schmit.

“Due to the fact that the launch of the funds (KPO) has been delayed for so long, there are very serious delays both in terms of reforms and investments,” said Pełczyńska-Nałęcz. “We have ambitions to accelerate a lot this year. In 2024 we would like to submit four more applications for an amount of up to PLN 120 billion,” she added.

Pełczyńska-Nałęcz also met with the EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, and with Director General Celine Gauer, who heads the Recovery and Resilience Task Force in the European Commission. The talks focused on the implementation of cohesion policy in the 2021-2027 financial perspective and the smooth implementation of the KPO.

During her meetings with representatives of the European Commission, Pełczyńska-Nałęcz also addressed the future of the Cohesion Policy after 2027. Poland wants to take an active part in the discussion on this issue, she said, noting that an opportunity to continue this debate will be the Polish presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2025.

Jo Harper
Jo Harper
Jo Harper is a British national with a 20-year freelance journalistic career in Poland, Germany and the UK, writing for Deutsche Welle, Politico, the BBC, the Daily Mirror, Gazeta Wyborcza, Polityka, New Eastern Europe and Forbes. He is a published author of books on Polish affairs and holds a PhD from the London School of Economics.