The May meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland was held on 6 May this year. Together with our guest, Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, we recognized the most critical assumptions of the National Recovery Plan (Krajowy Plan Odbudowy) and New Cohesion Policy (Polityka Spójności), which will support the Polish economy to return to the path of GDP growth and economic development.
The meeting was also attended by Katarzyna Kaczkowska from the department responsible for POIR and Agnieszka Kapciak from the department responsible for cohesion policy and NRP.
In the first part of the meeting, the Minister presented her observations on the National Recovery Plan and its main assumptions. The NRP has been recently submitted to the European Commission, and Poland is currently receiving comments on this document. The challenge is how to implement NRP reforms. The funds will be accounted for based on achieved milestones and implementation of reforms.
The projects are planned to be implemented in both the contest and non-competition modes. In the projects where the participation of entrepreneurs is necessary, we want the companies to prepare for the changes related to achieving a green economy and a closed-circle economy. The Ministry is waiting for proposals of good practices from the cohesion policy that can be translated into issues related to the implementation of funds.
According to Minister Jarosinska-Jedynak, the most important and innovative areas presented to the Commission, are those resulting from the Green Deal (37% of the funds) or digitalization (20% of the funds). The developed and proposed components include investments that support innovativeness in large enterprises. Firstly, solutions directed at transformation towards Industry 4.0 are essential. Secondly, there is a component concerning green energy and reducing energy intensity. In this area, Minister Jarosińska-Jedynak sees a significant role in hydrogen. The third component indicated by the Minister is transit. In this case, the participation of the private sector is envisaged in e-public service investments. The purpose of these investments is to increase the number of matters that can be handled electronically. In connection with the need to improve the efficiency of the health care system, investments are foreseen to develop the production of medicines and medical devices (production of active pharmaceutical ingredients) that would ensure medical safety domestically.
The second topic discussed in detail by the Minister was cohesion policy and NIP programming. Work on the cohesion policy and the NRP is proceeding in parallel. In the cohesion policy, the deadline for eligibility of expenditure is 1 January 2021. The Partnership Agreement proposes programs and the scope of intervention of the Structural Funds.
It is planned to finalize the Partnership Agreement negotiations by the end of this year.
There are nine programs at the national level and 16 programs at the regional level. They will be a continuation of the previous perspective. A national program dedicated to selected regions, namely the Just Transition Fund (Fundusz na rzecz Sprawiedliwej Transformacji) , has been added.
Entrepreneurs were invited to submit their postulates and comments to particular programs. The program dedicated to the energy transformation process is vital. It is planned to complete the preparation of these programs by the end of the year.
The Minister declared her willingness to cooperate with business and invited them to join the NRP Monitoring Committee and working groups. The group of sectoral competitions remains open for discussion and consultation with companies.
The equitable transformation fund involves the amount of EUR 4.4 billion dedicated to 6 regions. The largest recipient of these funds is the Śląskie Province (ca. EUR 2 billion). The individual areas are currently at the stage of drawing up their plans to use the funds.
During the meeting, the possibilities of receiving funds from various programs were also discussed, including the Eastern Poland Program concerning large companies. It was emphasized that the support for large companies will concern research and development activities and will support cooperation with small companies. In this case, the institution responsible for allocating funds will be the National Research and Development Center (NCBiR). On the other hand, in the case of support for investments corresponding to implementation projects, it may occur with the connection of small and medium-sized enterprises.
The meeting ended with a declaration that is important for the entire business environment of American companies operating in Poland. The Ministry's representatives emphasized that they are in dialogue with the representatives of enterprises and acknowledged openness and sincerity in cooperation with the business community.