Czech Republic withdraws complaint against Poland over environmental impact of Turow mine

Czech Republic withdraws complaint against Poland over environmental impact of Turow mine

The Czech Republic has withdrawn from European institutions a complaint against Poland over the environmental impact of a Polish lignite mine, according to Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister.

On Thursday, Poland and the Czech Republic signed an agreement on the Turow open pit mine, which ended a months-long dispute.

The Czech Republic has withdrawn its complaint to the European institutions, the Polish prime minister said on Friday. This closes the case for good. Last year, the Czechs complained to the Court of Justice of the European Union CJEU about the environmental impact of the Turow mine, which is close to Poland's border with the Czech Republic and Germany, and depletes ground water levels on the Czech side as well as produces excessive dust and noise.

The Polish government agreed to pay the Czech Republic EUR 35 million in compensation under the long-awaited deal reached on Thursday, while the Polish power plant PGE, which owns the Turow mine, said it would transfer EUR 10 million to the Czech Liberec province, which has been most affected by the operation of the mine.

We transferred the funds already yesterday, Morawiecki said at a press conference in Nowa Sarzyna, south-eastern Poland. It was EUR 35 million plus EUR 10 million from PGE. The prime minister said that we had reduced the amount significantly because we were talking about as much as 55 million at the beginning of the day.

The total costs of the dispute for Poland may not end there. In September 2021, the CJEU imposed a daily fine of EUR 500,000 on Warsaw for failing to suspend operations at the mine, but the Polish government refused to close the mine and pay up.

The prime minister said that Poland was going to use all available ways of appeal so that it doesn't have to pay this extremely unfair penalty. This was reiterated by Pawel Jablonski, Polish deputy foreign minister, who said on Friday that the issue has been resolved in a way satisfactory for both sides and that we'll be taking measures so that Poland doesn't have to pay fines.