Brussels (Brussels Morning) Poland and the Czech Republic are close to resolving the dispute over environmental effects of a Polish coal mine near their shared border, according to the Polish government, Reuters reports.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki previously announced that the Czech Republic was prepared to withdraw its lawsuit over the Turów coal mine. However, his Czech counterpart Andrej Babiš later refuted this and said the Czech government was prepared to press on with the case.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller noted that “a team meeting” had been held, during which “the framework of the agreement between Poland and the Czech Republic was established”. He stated that the lawsuit would be withdrawn once the agreement had been signed.
According to a Czech government source, Morawiecki and Babiš had agreed to conditions which Warsaw must first meet before the lawsuit is withdrawn.
EU Court ordered stop to mining
Last week, the Court of Justice of the EU ordered the immediate cessation of mining at the Turów coal mine operated by Polish state-owned PGE Group power company, pending a final ruling in the case.
The Czech Republic had warned that Poland’s plan to extend mining at Turów was in violation of EU law, and complained that the mine is causing environmental damage on its side of the border.
Environmental activists and local Czechs maintain that the mine has affected water supplies, caused subsidence and is noisy.
Speaking at an EU summit in Brussels, PM Morawiecki announced that Poland plans to finance projects worth up to 45 million euro in order to prevent the loss of groundwater in the Czech Republic caused by the mine.He added that Poland would put up screens to prevent particulate pollution in the Czech Republic. “As a result of this plan, we will be able to say that the whole matter is closed and the power plant and the mine will continue to work,” Morawiecki observed.