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EC sides with Czech Republic on lawsuit over Turów mine

“The European Commission will take part in the Czech Republic’s lawsuit against Poland at European Union’s highest court over the expansion of the Polish Turów lignite mine near the countries” border,” Vivian Loonela, an EC’s spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Both Poland and Czech Republic want agreement on Turów mine: official

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The Czech Republic believes that the Turów mine has a negative impact on border regions where the groundwater level has decreased.

“I can now confirm that the Commission has today submitted its request to intervene before the Court of Justice of the EU in Case C-121/21 Czechia v Poland,” the spokesperson said.

“The Commission’s aim, in this case, is to maintain the position expressed in the reasoned opinion of 17 December 2020 before the [EU Justice] Court. In this reasoned opinion, the Commission found a number of Czech complaints to be justified,” she said.

“Although the Commission is aware that the Czech Republic and Poland are currently discussing a possible friendly solution, no such solution has yet been identified, so the case is still pending before the Court,” the spokeswoman for the Commission added.

The Commission said in December that Poland had committed some of the infringements of European Union law that the Czech Republic had claimed in the case. Those included incorrectly applying EU laws requiring it to consult the public and neighbouring countries over extending the life of the mine.

The Czech government brought the case against its northern neighbour, saying the mine’s expansion was damaging communities on its side of the central European frontier.

The two countries, though, are seeking to negotiate an agreement and possible withdrawal of the lawsuit if agreed conditions are met.

On Monday, the Czech government accepted a negotiating mandate to reach an agreement with the Polish side and conclude the Turów mine case amicably, government spokesman Piotr Müller said on Tuesday.

Last month, the European Court of Justice ordered Poland to immediately stop mining at the site operated by Polish state-run company PGE, pending a final decision in the case.

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