The European Commission has given its assent to the Polish recovery plan, a key step to the country’s unlocking €23.9 billion ($25.4 billion) in grants and €11.5 billion ($12.2 billion) in low-interest loans.
The announcement represents a truce in a protracted stand-off between Brussels and Warsaw over controversial judicial reforms, which blocked the plan for more than a year and raised fears of a legal ‘Polexit’.
For now, Brussels seems to be satisfied with the Polish commitments and has moved to endorse the €35.4 billion ($37.7 billion) plan, based on the expectation that the government will carry through the reforms.
In a bid to break the impasse and comply with the Commission’s demands, Warsaw has agreed to make partial changes to the reforms, including by replacing the disciplinary regime of judges, deemed illegal by the European Court of Justice, with a new “Chamber of Professional Responsibility.”
The revision was introduced by President Andrzej Duda earlier this year and passed the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, in late May.
“We don’t need this dispute,” Duda said, adding the disciplinary regime was working in an “absolutely irregular way.”