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EU commission approves unlocking €137bn for Poland



The European Commission on Thursday, formally approved release of 137 billion euros (149 billion dollars) of European Union funds withheld from Poland due to rule of law concerns.

The money came from two sources: 76.5 billion euros a development budget controlled by the commission and 60 billion euros a post-Covid recovery fund.

The latter still needed to be approved by EU member states.

The commission cut off funding to Poland in 2022, on the grounds that court reforms brought in by the then-incumbent government compromised judicial independence.

Poland’s new government, led by former European Council president, Donald Tusk, is undoing those changes in a bid to comply with EU standards and restore the country’s access to the EU budget.

The grand total of 137 billion euros included both overdue payments that were blocked and payments due in the next few years, which would also have been blocked had the commission not decided to restore Poland’s funding.

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had announced that the decision was coming at a news conference in Warsaw on Friday.

Ummul Idris

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