Czechs withdraw complaint against Poland over Turow mine

Czechs withdraw complaint against Poland over Turow mine

The Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said that the Czech Republic has withdrawn from European institutions a complaint against Poland over the environmental impact of a Polish lignite mine.

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The Czech Republic has withdrawn its complaint to the European institutions, the Polish prime minister said on Friday.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. The Czechs complained to the Court of Justice of the European Union CJEU last year about the environmental impact of the Turow mine, which is close to Poland's border with the Czech Republic and Germany, as well as 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.

The funds were already transferred yesterday, according to Morawiecki 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 have reduced the amount 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 Poland was going to use all available methods 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 they'll be taking measures so that Poland doesn't have to pay fines.