Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and his Czech counterpart Petr Fiala signed an agreement that puts an end to the dispute over the Turów lignite mine.
Thus, the Czech Republic will withdraw its lawsuit, filed in February 2021 in connection with the expansion of the mine, from the European Court of Justice.
Turów is one of the four big lignite mines operating in Poland, owned and operated by state-owned utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE). It has been in operation for more than a century now, as the mining license has been extended multiple times. Former Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček blamed the project not only for the noise and air pollution but also because its expansion could deprive 30,000 Czechs of drinking water.
“Signing this agreement is very important for us from a strategic point of view: it ends the period of stagnation of very good Polish-Czech relations,” said Prime Minister Morawiecki. “Today we are starting a new chapter in neighbourly relations.”
By ratifying the agreement, Poland undertook to pay 35 million euros to finance current and feature measures to identify, mitigate and prevent the side effects of mining. The country has also promised to complete and demonstrate the functionality of the underground longwall, to prevent further groundwater runoff from the Czech territory. Moreover, it is also taking measures to improve the air quality. In addition, PGE will provide 10 million euros directly to the Liberec Region. On the other hand, the Czech side will gain access to all relevant data mapping the effects of mining activities.
“Thanks to the agreement reached, we will maintain the energy stability of both Poland and the entire European community,” added the Polish Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa.
Photo: government of Poland.