Polish PM: 2% of GDP will be Used for Defence Purposes
Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz claimed that, starting from 2016, at least 2% of the Polish GDP from the prior year will be allocated to the defence budget.
According to the information released by Prime Minister Kopacz, the regulations related to increase of the defence spending, up to the level which is not to be lower than 2% of GDP, starting from the next year, have been adopted by the Council of Ministers. Changes in the legislation are related to the Act on Financing and Technical Modernization of the Armed Forces, and also to the Act on Public Finances.
Polish Prime Minister has stated that the national defence industry is to be treated as the cornerstone of the investment related to the Polish Army. PM Kopacz also referred herself to the consolidation of the defence industry around the Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa [Polish Armament Group], and stressed the key role the PGZ plays in the modernization process.
When it comes to the issue of raising the level of defence spending up to 2% of the GDP, it has been also mentioned by President Komorowski, in the light of the Ukrainian Crisis, during the Barack Obama’s visit to Poland, last year. Claims related to that increase had been made earlier also by Prime Minister Kopacz, in her expose. Introduction of the new regulations means that more than 800 million zlotys of new assets will be used for the defence purposes.
Payment for the F-16 fighters is being realized this year, thus the level of defence spending is to exceed the level of 2,2 % of GDP. The payments related to the multi-role jets have not been realized within the period between 2011 and 2014.
Between 2008 and 2013, average contribution of the defence spending in the GDP constituted as much as 1,81 % (excluding the payment for the multi-role jets), due to the fact that MoD did not use all the assets, as well as due to the fact that an amended budgetary act has been introduced, which removed the obligation of planning the defence spending at the level of 1,95% of GDP back in 2013. It shall be noted though, that the regulations in force so far, related to the relationship between GDP and defence spending, are related to the process of planning, not the execution of the budget. Minister of Defence, Tomasz Siemoniak stated that the mechanisms to be implemented were to make it possible to use almost 100% of the assets for the modernization purposes.
According to the information provided by the Ministry of Defence, the prospective modifications of the legislation would also include change of the planning period, from 6 to 10 years, along with change of the programming cycle, related to the process of development of the Polish Army. This cycle is to be prolonged, from 2 to 4 years. Basically, this move is to adjust the national planning process, so that it is tailored to the rules pursued by the other member states of the NATO Alliance. Furthermore, advance payment related to the public public procurement procedures in the fields of defence and security would be permissible, and such payments would not be governed by the Public Procurement Act. Government’s Information Centre stresses the fact that this is the way of creating a mechanism, which would make it possible to effectively implement the prioritized tasks, from the point of view of the national defence and security needs.