Polish Briefing 26 May, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Too much noise. Oil agreement

What goes in Poland on 26th of May.

Oil agreement

OPEC states as well as other oil producers, including Russia extended last year’s agreement on limiting oil production to prevent a drop in prices.

The overproduction of oil caused its price to drop, which is why Russia and the cartel’s tycoon – Saudi Arabia, decided to prolong the last year’s agreement on cutting production before the summit on Thursday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries summit ended yesterday in Vienna.

There is a noticeable trend among the summit participants, which will lead to extending limited oil production by another 9 months. At the same time, OPEC’s general secretary Mohammad Barkindo talked about a “growing consensus” on prolonging the agreement.

Despite last year’s oil production cuts, its prices grew below the expectations of the OPEC states. Oil’s benchmark increased from almost USD 30 per barrel in early 2016 to about USD 50. However, oil still costs half the price in comparison to 2014.

Too much noise

The European Commission is threatening Poland with sanctions for inefficient fight against noise pollution. The problem pertains to a few agglomerations and the Warsaw-Okęcie airport.

Our government has already received a written warning from the Commission, which accused us of “infringing on a member state commitment” when it comes to noise pollution. A similar document was delivered to Portugal. Our country has two months to respond.

Poland and Portugal have a problem with abiding by Directive 2002/49/WE. The EC called on both countries to draft acoustic maps and action plans to decrease noise in some agglomerations, on main roads and railways, as well as – in Poland’s case in Warsaw’s airport.

New reimbursement rules

The revision of the Reimbursement Act that the Ministry of Health is working on, includes a proposal on new reimbursement rules for medicines. The Ministry assumed that if the National Health Fund (NFZ) spends more on the reimbursements than it had planned, the difference in costs will be covered by drugs producers, mostly national pharmaceutical companies.

The Ministry is working on amending the Reimbursement Act, which, according to vice-minister Marek Tombarkiewicz’s words, should be submitted for external consultations soon. The project includes a new proposition on the so-called payback, which is a mechanism of cost return in the reimbursement system.

The idea is that if NFZ spends more on the reimbursements than its financial plan proposed, the differences will be covered by producers of medicines sold in pharmacies.

New TV and radio subscription

The goal of the proposed changes to the act is to improve the collection of radio and TV subscription fees.

To improve the collections, the bill proposes to include providers of paid TV services into the process of registering radio and TV sets and identifying entities that have to pay the subscription.

The providers will be able to collect from their clients requests to register TV and radio sets, and then forward them to the Polish Post Office, which will collect the subscription fee. The providers will be also obliged to inform the Polish Post about every contract they sign. At the same time, the Post Office will have the right to demand from the providers information about clients that use their paid TV services.

The project also allows to register the TV or radio set through the paid TV services provider.