Tuesday

16th Jul 2019

EU is not a 'cash cow', commission tells Poland

  • Jyrki Katainen (c) at the 15th anniversary of the EU membership of 10 countries in Warsaw. (Photo: European Commission)

The European Union is not a cash cow to be milked by Poland, the vice-president of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen told reporters in Warsaw on Wednesday (1 May).

"The EU is not just a money machine, a cow that you can milk. We are expecting a more substantial contribution from Poland for the future of Europe," he was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The criticism comes amid a wider dispute over Poland's backsliding on the rule of law after having adopted laws that erode judicial independence.

Poland joined the European Union 2004 and has since received over €100bn in EU funding, more than any other EU member state.

But its right-wing government led by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) maintains a shaky relation with the European Union.

The country risks losing its voting rights at the EU level under the so-called article 7 procedure, launched in 2017, over the rule of law issues.

The threat appears to have done little to dissuade Warsaw from changing paths despite popular protests against the laws.

"The current situation is not good because we have had Article 7 procedure in Poland but unfortunately nothing has happened," said Katainen.

Some EU states have since grown frustrated with Poland.

In March, Belgium and German proposed shoring up monitoring of domestic rule of laws with a peer review system to ensure they comply with democratic values.

Meanwhile, the commission is now demanding Poland contribute more towards the EU cohesion fund given UK's projected departure from the European Union.

It also wants Poland to join the euro. But PiS has refused, stating that the country first needs to be on par with Germany, the bloc's largest economy.

"Poland is a fiscally prudent country and it would benefit a lot from eurozone membership," said Katainen.

Katainen was in Poland to help mark its membership, along with nine other countries, of the European Union 15 years ago.

"The most important thing is that EU is based on common values. Rule of law, democracy and human rights," he said in a tweet, following the event.

EU countries push for new rule of law surveillance

Germany and Belgium have put forward a proposal for a "peer review" of EU countries' legal systems as member states and EU institutions struggle with disciplining member states that break EU rules.

EU commission plans bolstering rule of law toolbox

As EU concerns over rule of law in some member states grow, the commission opens a debate on tools to discipline unruly member states. The EU executive has launched a new probe against Poland, and put Romania on the spot.

Opinion

What does Poland want from the EU?

We propose several changes to the EU, derived from the political philosophy behind the current Polish government, and what Poles expect from the EU - this could be seen as a manifesto Poland wants the next European Commission to tackle.

News in Brief

  1. Ansip's ex-cabinet chief to head EU cybersecurity agency
  2. Malta starts trial of journalist murder suspects
  3. Full text of von der Leyen candidacy speech to MEPs
  4. Von der Leyen open to further Brexit delay
  5. Von der Leyen promises carbon border tax
  6. Brexit: both UK PM candidates say Irish backstop is 'dead'
  7. Mogherini: Iran's nuclear enrichment 'reversible'
  8. Report: Selmayr to leave 'next week'

Merkel and Macron split over Weber presidency

EU heads of government have their first face-to-faces discussions after the European elections on who should lead the EU commission. They are unlikely to decide quickly - with the parliament also divided over the candidates.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. European Commission has first ever woman president
  2. Son: Malta trial for murdered journalist 'not enough'
  3. Von der Leyen's final appeal to secure top EU post
  4. EU talks tough on Turkey, but arms sales go on
  5. The Abortion Exodus - more Poles and Croats going abroad
  6. Poland's ex-PM loses EU parliament chair again
  7. Von der Leyen reaches out to left and liberal MEPs
  8. Farmers among new MEPs deciding on EU farming money

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us