Press statement by President von der Leyen with Polish Prime Minister Tusk

Prime Minister, dear Donald,

What a pleasure to welcome you here at the Berlaymont in your new and old capacity as Prime Minister. Times are challenging and your personal commitment and European experience will be invaluable for our European family. We have a lot of work ahead of us and I am happy that we can do this alongside you.

First, I welcome your commitment to put the rule of law at the top of your government’s agenda, and your determination to address all the concerns that have been expressed in the last years by the European Court and by the Commission. I also welcome that you have taken the initiative for Poland to join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. This is excellent news first and foremost for Polish citizens but also for European partners and European citizens.

Second, of course, we both share the aim to make progress on NextGenerationEU. And I am glad we finally got the first payment request. We need to make up for lost time. And I look forward in particular to working closely together on addressing the milestones on judicial independence – so that we can then proceed with the first payment. We will need to work hard. But in view of actions that you have taken so far and that you are planning to take, I am hopeful that together we can resolve these issues.

For far too long, the concerns about the rule of law have hampered our capacity to help Poland modernise its economy and implement the twin green and digital transition. In the meantime, I am glad to share good news on your REPowerEU plan. The Commission is working to transfer to Poland EUR 5 billion in pre-financing before the end of the year. This will help Poland to modernise its energy systems and decarbonisation efforts. Indeed, the fight against climate change is the most essential priority for all of us. We need Poland on board.

Let me finish by wishing you and your government full success. Rest assured that the Commission stands by your side.

Source European Commission – Dec 15, 23

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