Democracy Digest: Holdup in EU Recovery Fund Averted as Polish Parties Strike Deal

Ziobro argued that the measures to allow the EU to generate "own resources" for the plan (ie. issue debt) would lead to a further - unacceptable, in his view - erosion of national sovereignty. Also, as the architect of the PiS's controversial justice reforms, he did not like the rule-of-law conditionality that the European Commission has attached to the disbursement of funds from the RRF.

Without Ziobro, PiS did not have a parliamentary majority to vote through the plan. And the main opposition parties said they would be unlikely to help the government, even though they support the EU and its recovery fund.

The liberal opposition saw a political opportunity in the governing coalition splits: the three parties in the coalition had been bickering for months and PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski appeared close to losing his patience with Ziobro; Kaczynski had even threatened early elections if Ziobro did not toe the coalition line on the recovery fund.

Lewica, however, had its own plans separate from the main opposition. Having said from the beginning the recovery fund was an opportunity that Poland could ill afford to pass up, this week they invited Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for talks and set out six conditions PiS needed to accept if Lewica was to support the government in the parliamentary vote.

The left-wing alliance demanded that a third of the 57 billion euros available for Poland would be spent by local authorities; out of these funds, some would be used to build 75,000 units of social housing, 850 million euros to be spent specifically on local hospitals and 300 million euros on businesses threatened by the pandemic. It also demanded the creation of a monitoring committee to oversee the spending and for detailed plans of how...

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