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Next Generation EU – The EU’s dangerous game with Poland is an English-language opinion website associating Polish conservative columnists and commentators who write about the major topics that fuel the public debate in their country.

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Could Poland lose access not only to the Next Generation EU “Recovery and Resilience Facility” funds, which are still being withheld by the European Commission over a long-standing dispute concerning the Polish judiciary, but also to the much-needed cohesion funds promised with the EU’s 2021-27 financial framework?

An article by Olivier Bault, published originally on To read the full version on, please click here.

As the EU-27 budget’s biggest beneficiary until now, the former Eastern Bloc country has a lot to lose after two decades of dynamic economic growth as a member of the European Union, which it joined in 2004. However, those who value 70 years of European integration and believe democracy and the rule of law are important have good reasons to worry as well, as the conflict between Warsaw and Brussels could have very serious implications not only on the economic front and not only for Poles.

It is, indeed, quite an extraordinary situation whereby, in 2023, a Member State of 38 million people with a GDP per capita standing at 46% of the EU average (according to Eurostat figures for 2021) is being denied access to an EU-wide “recovery and resilience” plan whose stated goal was “to emerge stronger from the pandemic, transform our economies and societies, and design a Europe that works for everyone” with an overall budget of €750 billion (half as grants and half in the form of loans being made available to individual countries). Originally, those funds were to be spent in the years 2021–2026 to recover from the depression of the years 2020-21 linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, and this is exactly what is happening in much wealthier countries like Germany (with a GDP per capita at 133% of the EU average), France (113%), Italy (93.2%), Spain (78.6%), and others. At the end of March 2023, the European Commission boasted on its website having already disbursed €145 billion to EU countries under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Of those, the Commission had transferred €2.25 billion in grants to Germany, €12.52 billion in grants to France, €28.95 billion in grants and €37.94 billion in loans to Italy, €31.04 billion in grants to Spain, and even €12.14 million in grants to tiny Luxembourg, the bloc’s richest member whose GDP per capita stands at 347% of the EU average. Apart from Poland and Hungary, only Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden had not yet been disbursed any money from the RRF by the end of the 1st quarter of 2023. For those three Western European countries, however, it is not a case of the European Commission withholding the funds but of their governments not having yet drawn down from the RRF.

In theory, of the €750 billion planned for the bloc’s RRF, Poland should have access to €58.1 billion (23.9 billion in grants and €34.2 billion in loans)…

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