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EU Commission Set To Allow Funding To Flow Despite Rule Of Law Concerns


The European Commission is set to make a decision either this afternoon or tomorrow morning on approving Poland's plan to access up to EUR23.9bn in grants and EUR11.5bn in loans as part of the Recovery and Resilience Facility created to ease the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on member states. Reuters reports that Warsaw's plan could be approved despite concerns in Brussels about the state of the rule of law in Poland, with specific focus on the country's judiciary.

  • Politico reports that several Commissioners including "heavyweights First Vice President Frans Timmermans, Vice President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová and competition chief Margrethe Vestager — will today raise objections to the plan".
  • It should be noted that approving the plan will not mean the immediate provision of funding to Poland, with the gov't still set to have to meet certain criteria relating to EU rule of law standards in order to gain access to the money.
  • Poland seen as a major obstacle to EU and wider OECD plans for minimum 15% corporation tax rates worldwide. Some have seen Warsaw allowing minimum taxation to proceed in exchange for RRF funding as the 'cost of doing business' for the EU.
  • Commission now also set to allow disbursement of funding based on Poland reaching 'milestones' within rule of law reform. This is opposed to forcing Poland to reform its rules around the judiciary fully before it can gain access.

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