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The Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said that the Czech Republic has withdrawn from European institutions a complaint against Poland over the environmental impact of a Polish lignite mine.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The Czech Republic has withdrawn its complaint to the European institutions, the Polish prime minister said on Friday.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. 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, arguing that the mine depletes groundwater levels on the Czech side and produces excessive dust and noise.

Under the long-awaited deal reached on Thursday, the Polish government agreed to pay the Czech Republic EUR 35 million in compensation 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.

Morawiecki said the funds were already transferred yesterday 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 of the fact that 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 not suspending 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 ways of appeal so that it doesn't have to pay this unjust 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.