EU Commission to send penalty payment request to Poland over Turów mine
The European Commission will issue "in due time" a payment request calling on Poland to pay the penalties imposed by the EU's top court in the dispute over the Turow lignite mine, a Commission spokesman said on Monday.
The EU's top court had ordered Poland to stop activities of the Turow lignite mine on the country's border with the Czech Republic and, when Warsaw ignored the order, imposed on Sept 20 a daily fine of 500,000 euros on Poland until it complies.
Talks between the Czech Republic and Poland failed to produce a deal to end a dispute over a Polish coal mine after further meetings last week, with the Czech environment minister saying the sides differed on how long an agreement should last. The Czechs say the 30-square kilometre Turow lignite mine is damaging nearby Czech border villages and have pushed their case to the highest European Union court, prompting the talks on a deal. After months of negotiations, Warsaw brought an offer to Prague two weeks ago to end the spat between the central European allies, but the talks again ended in fiasco.
Czech Environment Minister Richard Brabec said one of the main reasons for lack of agreement was due to different opinions on the length of the agreement, with the Czech side pushing for a long-term framework. Czech Television quoted Polish Climate Minister Michał Kurtyka at the time as saying a "very good offer" was not accepted.
Last week, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said his country will not hold further talks on the Turów mine until after the Czech parliamentary election.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis's ANO party narrowly lost the parliamentary election completed on Saturday to the centre-right Together coalition and their allies the liberal Pirates/Mayors and appears to have no chance of forming a ruling majority.
Talks, running since May, have sought to clarify financial compensation and technical improvements to safeguard the environment around the mine. Czech communities have complained of reduced water supplies because of the mining. Turów is slated to run until 2044 and feeds an adjoining power plant that covers as much as 7% of Poland's energy output. Warsaw says it is vital for jobs and energy. Poland has so far defied a Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) order from May to halt mining at Turów while the Czech case continued. The court last week ordered Warsaw to pay a 500,000 euro ($579,000) daily penalty.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters