PM Babis: Czechia will not withdraw complaint to EU s top court against Poland

The Czech Republic will not withdraw its complaint to the European Union s Court of Justice against the expansion of the brown coal mine at Turow in Poland, Czech PM Andrej Babis told Czech journalists in Brussels on Tuesday, refuting an earlier statement by Mateusz Morawiecki, his Polish counterpart.

ECONOMY POLITICS MAY 25. 2021 11:50

“We will not withdraw our lawsuit. We have no such plans. This is out of the question,” the Czech Republic s public broadcaster quoted PM Babis as saying. It is now Poland s turn to propose a solution, Mr Babis added.

“The two countries could conclude an intergovernmental agreement and financial compensation is also being considered,” the Czech prime minister added, and reiterated that the Czech Republic will not withdraw its petition during the negotiations.

Not much earlier, PM Mateusz Morawiecki announced that the Czech Republic will withdraw its complaint filed at the EU s tp court. Both premiers made a statement after they held talks on the issue in Brussels. 

Mr Morawiecki said the parties have reached a preliminary agreement that Poland will not shut down the mine but will take a share in projects to alleviate environmental impacts.

According to Andrej Babis, however, all that happened was that Poland acknowledged the Czech Republic s objections for the first time in the conflict and showed willingness to negotiate an agreement.

Besides the two prime ministers, representatives of the relevant Czech and Polish ministries also held direct talks with each other on Monday, according to sources in Prague. Czech Environment Minister Jiri Brabec said Poles are refusing to close the mine, but are now willing to listen to Czechia s objections and arguments and to reach a compromise.

In the lawsuit filed by Prague, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered the temporary suspension of the mine s operation on Friday. Warsaw called the decision disproportionate and rejected its implementation on the grounds of energy and employment security, as well as issues related to environmental protection.

The Czech Republic fears that the operation of the mine could drain the region s water reserves, and increase noise and air pollution. Prague had turned to the ECJ after Poland had extended the mine s operating license first until 2026, and then until 2044.

ECONOMY POLITICS

Tags:

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