Permanent Representative of Poland to the European Union
The article “Polish PM claims EU has not contributed ‘a single cent’ to fight coronavirus” (March 27) misrepresented comments made by the Polish leader in parliament last week.
In his speech, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki noted that the EU has not committed any new funds to the fight against the coronavirus, not that it had committed no funds at all.
As he pointed out, the European Commission’s proposal is based on redeploying cohesion policy funds that are part of the current financial framework. The Commission has also confirmed this to be the case, stipulating in a DG Budget document that it was committing “no new money, but frontloading and directing existing funds to corona related challenges.” A high-level Commission representative shared the same information during an informal meeting of EU ministers responsible for regional and cohesion policy.
To date, no member country has received additional EU funds to combat the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. The €7.4 billion Poland is due to receive from Brussels is simply money that had already been allocated to Poland under the cohesion policy for 2014-2020.
We believe the EU needs a much more ambitious plan to save the European economy from the effects of this crisis. The current situation is proof that the next EU budget must be much bolder if the EU wants to be a global player and meet its stated ambitions.