Poland/EU – Since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine on 24 February, Poland has been on the front line of taking care of Ukrainian refugees. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees figures as of 11 April, by that date Poland had already received 2,645,877 Ukrainians – in other words, 57% of all Ukrainians who had fled their country because of the war, and the equivalent of 7% of its own population. Despite this, the European Union has decided to cut 69 million euros in EU funds to Warsaw.
Poland welcomes 2.6 million Ukrainian refugees…
In an outpouring of generosity toward its neighbours and at a cost already exceeding two billion euros, Poland has been helping as much as it can in the face of the emergency. Instead of providing EU financial support, however, Brussels officials have been deducting sums from EU funds for Poland in order to recover the daily fines Poland refuses to pay after the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) ruling concerning the Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court – a ruling which has been deemed incompatible with the Polish constitution by the Polish Constitutional Court, as it interferes in an area where the EU has no competence as per the European treaties. At the same time, the European Commission has now deducted additional funds to force the collection of a daily penalty imposed by the ECJ in the Turów mine dispute, which Poland and the Czech Republic settled out of court a little over two months ago.
… and the EU is recovering 69 million euros in contested fines
Interviewed on Radio Plus, Polish Deputy Prime Minister and PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński said:
“This is some kind of madness. (…) There is a war going on here. Poland’s role in this war is well known, and we are being punished for not making a decision that would be extremely detrimental to us,
irrational, and (…) without any basis in the treaties (…) There are two things here. There is the issue of the stimulus package in general and there is the issue of the withholding of these sums, which, compared to the stimulus package, are small sums, and so it is simply a stubborn will to punish. (…) This decision was made on the basis of the ECJ’s own regulation, which is not an act adopted by a body that, in accordance with the treaties, can make decisions. (…)
This is a totally illegal decision, and here we are mainly dealing first with a continuation of this hateful anti-Polish attitude,
with a continuation of this very dangerous trend of acting against the law, with a total disregard for the EU’s laws and the treaties.”
Besides this, the payment of funds to Poland under the NextGenerationEU Recovery Fund continues to be blocked by the European Commission.