Polish Briefing 19 June, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: The Big Four meeting. New act on renewable energy sources

What goes in Poland on 19th of June.

The Big Four meeting

The future of the EU, Brexit, migration crisis and common defense policy – these are some of the topics of Monday’s summit of the Visegrad Group and Benelux states, which will take place in Warsaw.

The Polish government’s spokesman, Rafał Bochenek, stated the meeting of heads of governments of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg would take place at the invitation of Prime Minister Beata Szydło.

“The summit will propel the relations, which so far have taken place at the level of foreign ministers, to a higher political rank,” explained Bochenek. “This is a perfect opportunity to tighten cooperation and dialogue on the most important European issues,” he added. The spokesman announced that during the joint working session of the V4 and Benelux states, the participants will discuss Brexit and the future of the EU after Great Britain’s departure.

The leaders will also talk about economic issues, improving the EU’s competitiveness and strengthening the common market founded on the four freedoms.

New act on renewable energy sources

The Energy Ministry presented the assumptions for another amendment of the Renewable energy sources act, whose objective is to facilitate the development of the renewables sector. However, experts are divided on the proposal.

The ministry had already announced the current update during the passing of the previous version of the Act, which was adopted by the Sejm on 22 June 2016 and entered into force only a few days later, on 1 July. It fundamentally changed the rules of support for producers of green energy from small, pro-consumer micro-installations running on renewables. It also significantly altered the auction system.

Earlier, the ministry stated that further amendments to the Act would introduce changes to the system of supporting green energy producers, which would be very significant, but not revolutionary.

Last Thursday, Andrzej Kaźmierski, Director of the Renewable Energy Department at the Ministry of Energy, announced at the Sejm that the amendment will be ready soon, once it is updated with the corrections resulting from social and inter-ministerial consultations. In the opinion of Justyna Piszczatowska, portal’s expert, the assumptions, which have been already presented by the ministry suggest that we should expect system changes, such as the introduction of feed-in tariffs for micro- and small installations.

Warsaw Stock Exchange’s new president

Election of the new Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW) President. On Monday at 11 o’clock the General Meeting of Shareholders of the Exchange will be held to, among others, choose a new GPW President. Last week the Minister of Economic Development and Finances put forward the candidacity of Marek Dietl for the position.

Dietl earned his PhD in Economy at the Polish Academy of Sciences and as of 23 February 2016 has been the Polish President’s economic advisor.

Hospitals to offer paid services

According to a new project by the Ministry of Health, public hospitals will be allowed to charge patients for health services. The bill is currently subject to social consultations. It also forbids hospitals to lend fixed assets to other entities that provide health services.

The bill enables patients to use paid, i.e. commercial, services at public hospitals, apart from the government-paid ones. Such a solution will improve the hospitals’ financial stability and facilitate access to services.

The ministry estimates that the change will increase hospitals’ income by 5%.

The ministry does not want health care entities to be able to sell, lease, rent or lend fixed assets to entities that perform health services on the care entities’ request. “Such a situation creates a number of irregularities, such as giving public property to private entities,” explained the ministry.