- Opposition seeks spending safeguard measures before backing EU recovery fund | Agnieszka Pomaska
Opposition seeks spending safeguard measures before backing EU recovery fund 14.04.2021, written by Łukasz Bejm
Poland’s ratification of legislation essential to the European Union’s COVID-19 recovery fund was in doubt on Wednesday, as the largest opposition party said it would not support it without safeguards over how the money would be spent.
With the ruling coalition split over the recovery fund, opposition votes will be crucial if Poland is to ratify a decision to increase the European Union’s „own resources”.
All member states must ratify the decision to allow the bloc to borrow 750 billion euros ($897 billion) to help it bounce back from the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
„We have prepared amendments that guarantee the safety of European funds,” Borys Budka, the leader of the liberal Civic Platform party, was quoted as saying by state-run news agency PAP. „If they are not adopted, I don’t see a possibility of voting in the dark for ratification.”
Civic Platform has proposed a number of amendments to the government’s National Reconstruction Plan laying out how EU money would be spent, which it says would prevent the funds from being misused.
Budka also said that Civic Platform would request that a majority of two-thirds in the parliament be required in order to pass the ratification of the Own Resources Decision.
Poland could face early elections if ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS) are unable to reach a compromise with staunchly conservative junior coalition partner United Poland over the EU recovery fund.
United Poland is implacably opposed to the fund, which it says could result in Poland being saddled with the debts of other countries and forced to accept liberal policies such as gay marriage due to a clause linking EU funds to respect for the rule of law.
A government spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.