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POLAND: EU Budget Blueprint Progress

On 2 May the EU Commission is expected publish a draft of the EU post-2020 budget. The document will not include exact figures; however, it will set out a policy outline and suggestions for the consideration of member states. Some of the biggest difficulties for the future budget include covering the financial shortfall caused by Brexit and tackling challenges such as migration. According to commentators, the budget blueprint will propose that 80% of the Brexit financial gap be covered by increased contributions of member states and 20% via budget cuts – a change to the previous 50:50 proposal. Experts fear that increased contribution to the EU budget may fuel anti-EU sentiments in richer member states, where the public is already dissatisfied with EU financing policies.

Additionally, the blueprint will expand mechanisms which will allow for more flexible countermeasures to future financial issues in member states. The budget of the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism will be boosted for this purpose. Still, it remains uncertain to what extent this financial backup will be intended for the eurozone or the EU27.

Furthermore, the Commission is said to have decided on proposing a rule of law conditionality. This is a measure much feared by the Polish government, which is currently in still in conflict with Brussels over judiciary reforms conducted last year. The extent of the link between funds and values remains unknown.  The Polish government will also have to reckon with cuts in funding, which are a derivative of its development achievements. Economic and development indicators of many regions in Poland are nearing the EU average making them non-eligible to certain financing mechanisms.