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Poland filed ‘illegal waste import’ complaint against Germany to EU Commission, Minister says

Poland’s Climate and the Environment Minister Anna Moskwa recently said that her ministry has filed a complaint to the European Commission against Germany for “illegally imported” waste (26 July).

This is the first step of the procedure before taking the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Minister Moskwa noted. “We expect immediate action from Germany regarding the retrieval of over 35,000 tons of waste that illegally ended up in Poland,” she added.

The complaint to the European Commission concerns the “inaction” of Germany regarding the disposal of over 35,000 tons of waste that illegally ended up in Poland, the Polish Climate and the Environment Ministry said.

The waste is located in Tuplica (Lubusz Voivodeship), Stary Jawor (Lower Silesian Voivodeship), Sobolew (Lower Silesian Voivodeship), Gliwice (Silesian Voivodeship), Sarbia (Greater Poland Voivodeship), Bzów (Greater Poland Voivodeship), and Babina (Greater Poland Voivodeship), the Ministry added.

“The Federal Republic of Germany is one of the main countries initiating the current climate policy of the European Union, which is why we expect that the repeatedly declared concern for environmental protection will be reflected in deeds and illegal waste, in accordance with applicable law, will be taken from the territory of Poland,” Minister Moskwa said.

The Minister emphasised that Poland has repeatedly raised this matter with its German neighbour at the regional and federal levels. “Despite numerous correspondence sent by the [Polish] Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection to the offices of individual federal states, the waste has not been taken to Germany. Therefore, we are forced to use this path and we make use of the complaint to the EC [European Commission], which is the first stage of the proceedings before the Court of Justice of the EU. The Polish taxpayer cannot pay for the disposal and management of German waste,” Minister Moskwa said.

Poland’s EU Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk pointed out that there has been a violation of European law by Germany, which should take responsibility for the illegally imported waste into Poland.

“Using federal state competence as a defence in this matter does not hold up in the context of international law. Therefore, based on Article 259 of the Treaty on the European Union, we are initiating the first stage of proceedings – this involves filing a complaint with the European Commission as the first step. The next stage is the possibility of lodging a complaint with the Court of Justice of the European Union,” Minister Szynkowski vel Sęk said.

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