Friday, January 14, 2022

EU will recoup EUR 120 million in fines from the funds they never gave Poland

 According to the Financial Times and Bloomberg, the European Commission (EC) is about to collect millions of unpaid penalties Poland is refusing to pay imposed by the European Court of  Justice (ECJ) over the "rule of law" and refusal to close Turów coal mine. 

The EU says that they will deduct those penalties from the "recovery fund" Poland, like every other member state, was about to receive. The problem is, Poland is one of the very few states that never received those funds because the EC blocked the transfer.

On Thursday at a press conference, the EC announced that it had sent two summons to Poland for fines relating to the Turów mine and had not yet received any money. The EC spokesman, Balazs Ujvari, said that in accordance with the procedure, if they do not receive the money, they will deduct funds from the funds due from the EU budget. On September 20, the ECJ issued a fine of 500,000 euro per day for not implementing the interim measure (closing the mine) and continuing to extract lignite from the mine.

The government spokesman Piotr Müller, commenting on the position of the European Commission, emphasized that the government "in principle disagrees" with the ECJ's decision to impose a penalty on our country because - as he assessed - it "exceeds the competences of the EU."

"If the European Commission finally wants, in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of EU law, to deduct these funds from those funds that are transferred to the Polish budget, it can of course always do so, while the safety of Poles in terms of energy is the most important for us"- said Müller.

He added that the government "is able to bear the cost of preventing blockouts for several million people."