Representatives of the Czech Republic and Poland discussed Turów today. They also spoke about Friday’s decision by the European Union Court of Justice

Representatives of the Czech Republic and Poland discussed Turów today. They also spoke about Friday’s decision by the European Union Court of Justice

Governor of the Liberec Region Martin Půta, Marshal of the Lower Silesia Voivodship Cezary Przybylski, Deputy Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic Vladislav Smrž, and State Secretary of the Polish Ministry of State Assets Artur Soboń met today at the Regional Authority of the Liberec Region. They gathered to discuss the Turów lignite mine in Poland. Last Friday, the European Union Court of Justice ordered Poland to immediately suspend mining there for breach of Union law in permitting the expansion and prolongation of mining, until such time as the Court reaches a decision on an action brought by the Czech Republic against Poland. Polish politicians and representatives of the PGE mining company responded to Friday’s court ruling by saying that they had no intention of suspending mining.

Today’s meeting at the Regional Authority of the Liberec Region, initiated by the Poles, was attended by representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by representatives of the Liberec Region. Discussion centred on the conditions under which the Czech Republic would theoretically be willing to withdraw its action against Poland in the matter of the unauthorised expansion and prolongation of mining at the Turów mine. The aim of the meeting was to outline possible solutions to the dispute. Poland, acting through the Marshal of the Lower Silesia Voivodship and the Polish State Secretary, provisionally agreed to the proposed solution.

“First and foremost, we today called on Poland to respect the decision of the EU Court of Justice. Should Poland fail to do that, we are ready to propose such a fine to the Court that would motivate Poland to respect the Court’s decision. We also repeated the conditions under which we are theoretically willing to withdraw the Czech action - primarily written and financial guarantees that Poland will minimise and compensate for the impacts of mining on the Czech Republic: the air and noise, and above all the level of underground waters, on which mining in Turów has negatively impacted for some considerable time now. We also spoke about the way in which to formally anchor such guarantees in an intergovernmental agreement, which would naturally also include the conditions involved and the sanctions should Poland fail to respect the agreement,” said Vladislav Smrž, Deputy Minister for Section of Strategies and International Relations at the Ministry of the Environment, who has been involved in the Turów case on behalf of the Ministry since the very outset.

“Today’s meeting is a good sign that we will find a positive solution to the situation. I believe that common sense will prevail and that we will be able to reach an agreement with our Polish neighbours. Mining in the Turów lignite mine affects the people living in our region. The Liberec Region has come up with proposals for a solution for several years now and has done its utmost in this matter. Perhaps the time has now come for a solution to be guaranteed by an agreement between the governments of both countries,” added Governor Martin Půta.

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