Czech Republic withdraws complaint to EU s top court regarding coal mine in Poland

The Czech Republic has agreed to withdraw its complaint to the EU s top court regarding the Turow mine in Poland as - in line with a preliminary bilateral agreement - Poland will participate in a project designed to mitigate the mine s negative environmental impact, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday.

ECONOMY POLITICS MAY 25. 2021 10:01

PM Morawiecki and Andrej Babis, his Czech counterpart, discussed the issue of conflict between the two countries at the European Union summit in Brussels on Monday. At the press conference closing the first day of the summit, the Polish prime minister said they are “already very close to an agreement” with Mr Babis, adding that the Czech side will concretise the agreement between the two prime ministers in the coming days.

Accordingly, the Czech Republic has agreed to withdraw the complaint it filed with the ECJ in March, while the Polish side is participating in multi-year projects worth 45 million euros to alleviate the mine s negative environmental impact, Mr Morawiecki said.

The two politicians also agreed to set up an expert committee to investigate the mine s potential environmental impacts.

The Polish energy company PGE, the owner of the Turow mine, will complete the underground protective shield that is already under construction, which will lessen the leakage of groundwater and also create barriers to prevent pollutant washouts.

Mr Morawiecki confirmed that the mine and the coal-fired power plant it supplies will not stop its operations, but it is important for Warsaw to reach an agreement with Prague.

The Czech Republic fears that the operation of the mine could drain the region s water reserves and increase noise and air pollution. Prague appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union after Poland had extended the mine s licence first until 2026, and then until 2044.

In the lawsuit filed by Prague, the EU s top court ordered Poland to temporarily halt operations at the Turow mine on Friday. Warsaw described the ruling as disproportionate and refused to implement it, citing energy security, employment and environmental protection reasons. 

ECONOMY POLITICS

Tags:

andrej babis, czech republic, mateusz morawiecki, poland, turow