The Polish government has no plans at the moment to veto EU projects in order to pressure the European Commission into unlocking Poland’s access to billions of euros in EU pandemic-recovery funding, finance minister has said.
The EU has refused to release the funding owing to a protracted dispute with Poland over the rule of law. This has prompted speculation that the Polish government may use the threat of its veto to force Brussels into unlocking the funds.
Politicians from Solidary Poland, a Eurosceptic ally of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, have appealed to the government to veto the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework and the bloc’s plans to set a minimum corporate tax of 15 percent on big multinationals from 2023.
But Magdalena Rzeczkowska, the finance minister, told PAP that for now “the government does not intend to use the veto as a tool to put pressure on the European Commission to force the launch of the Polish National Recovery Plan (KPO).”
The KPO outlines how Poland will spend the funding, and has already been approved by the European Commission.
Rzeczkowska said that the amendment to the EU Multiannual Financial Framework will enable a macro-financial assistance package for Ukraine.
“It is hard to imagine Poland blocking the possibility of providing this assistance when Poland’s main interest is security and when Ukraine’s victory would strengthen this security; it would be contrary to Poland’s raison d’état,” Rzeczkowska said.
She added that at stake is about EUR 18 billion in aid that Ukraine may receive in 2023 and that all member states will agree to provide this aid.
The package, according to Rzeczkowska, will place the least pressure on the Polish budget.
“There is no increase in the premium before 2033, it is a mechanism that will enable the European Commission to collect funds to help Ukraine and pay interest on these funds in the coming years. There will be no additional premium for the next 10 years,” she said.
Rzeczkowska added that vetoing the tax plan would be against Poland’s interests.