Report: Chasing Time

Although Poland has still not met the conditions to apply for funds from the first tranche, there are still some tools and mechanisms on the side of the authorities that can help to prepare for a more effective implementation of investments. Looking for good practices in EU countries, it is possible to create better conditions for NRP implementation despite the truncated timeframe – Authors of the Chasing Time report: Maciej Sychowiec, Aleksandra Wójtowicz and Wojciech Lewandowski write.

Although the level of ambition of Poland’s National Recovery Plan (NRP) has fallen short of expectations, the investments and reforms included in it can still support the zero-carbon transformation of the national economy. Given the geopolitical situation, the energy crisis and the threat of recession, the NRP can be an important measure in building Poland’s energy independence. Therefore, the NRP should be seen as a strategic investment in the second element – namely, the resilience of the Polish economy to the crisis, the unstable situation in the world and fuel markets, and the consequences of high inflation and its fight against it.

The emerging delays in the implementation of the NRP are related to the unsatisfactory fulfilment of the condition to implement the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union and to ensure the independence of the judiciary and the independence of judges. This is problematic on many levels, but in the context of the NAP it contributes to the risk of Poland not using funds from this mechanism.

The NRP funds are only available until 2026 – so the longer the delay, the less time there is to use them. At the same time, one of the milestones (a condition for the disbursement of the NRP funds) imposes an obligation on Poland to improve the conditions of the NRP implementation. Further problems arise on this ground, including the mechanism for selecting members of the social side of the NRP Monitoring Committee.

Time constraints and the requirement to improve governance practices (good governance) point to the need to find good models of NRP implementation that will help to more effectively implement the reforms and investments envisaged in the Plan once the funds have been released. Our study highlights examples of practices from other EU countries, in particular Denmark, Spain, Belgium and Italy, which can be used by the Polish government.