Czech-Polish negotiations over Turów mine hit stalemate

The Czech authorities have requested the EU court to impose hefty fines on Poland. [EPA-EFE/Martin Divisek]

Negotiations between Czechia and Poland over mining in the Turów coal mine have now come to a stalemate, which Czech environmental organisations say is being caused by Poland’s unwillingness to solve the dispute and the passiveness of EU institutions.

The Czech parliament’s environmental committee discussed the dispute on Wednesday.

More than 100 days ago, the EU Court of Justice ordered Poland to immediately halt coal mining in Turów, which is located a few kilometres from Czech borders and negatively affects the lives of local citizens. However, the Polish authorities are not following the court’s decision and have continued mining activities.

The Czech authorities have requested the EU court to impose hefty fines on Poland. According to Foreign Deputy Minister Martin Smolek, the court should decide on sanctions before the end of this month. In November, the main court hearing of the Turów dispute is expected to begin.

Czech advocacy organisation Frank Bold together with a local citizens’ organisation called on the European Commission to step in the dispute and make sure that Polish authorities will follow the EU court’s decision. However, the Czech government has not officially requested the EU’s executive for help.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki recently said negotiations between the countries are taking place in the shadow of the forthcoming general elections in Czechia. “I presume that after the election is over, the emotions will fade away,” he said in an interview with radio station RMF FM.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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