The fourth round of talks between the Polish and Czech governments over the Turów mine is beginning. Although the details of the negotiations are not public, politicians from both countries admit that the talks are not easy. It’s no wonder, as the Polish side still does not want to admit that the open pit has negative impact on the Czech environment.
Negotiations between the Czech Republic and Poland over the lawsuit resumed on July 8. This will be the fourth round of talks. However, everything indicates that they will not be finished soon. Although the details of the negotiations are not known (about which Uhelna residents complained to the European Commission last week), politicians emphasize that this is not easy.
“From our information, there is little hope for a quick resolution of the dispute and the signing of an intergovernmental agreement. Last week’s meetings have moved us away from what has been achieved so far. According to Polish source, the Czechs have begun to go back on points they had previously agreed to. Our interlocutors add that earlier there was a willingness to agree quickly, but this situation has changed. It appears that expectations are decreasing when it comes to closing the issue before elections in the Czech Republic, where Babiš party is racing against the pro-environment Pirate Party,” Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported.
DGP also reports on an informal letter that Mateusz Morawiecki allegedly gave to Andrej Babiš. Prime Minister of Poland accuses the Czech side of unwillingness to cooperate. The Czechs, on the other hand, claim that the long talks arise from constant questioning of Turów’s negative impact on waters on the Czech side.
On May 21, 2021, the Court of Justice of the Union issued an order: “Poland is bound to an immediate cessation of lignite coal mining at the Turów mine. The factual and legal allegations raised by the Czech Republic justifies the ordering of the requested provisional measures”.
Almost two months have passed, but Poland still does not comply with the ruling issued by the CJEU. In the meantime, the Czech side has filed a motion to impose a EUR 5 million fine on Poland for each day of non-compliance.
Neither in submitted applications, nor anywhere else, has the Polish government so far demonstrated that a temporary halt of mine operations would not be possible. Evasion of the ruling is therefore unfounded. If a fine is finally imposed on Poland, it will be paid for by all citizens.
This is not the first time when PIS government has disregarded the rulings of the EU Court of Justice. In an interview with Onet about the government’s attitude towards the CJEU, constitutional specialist Anna Rakowska-Trela, PhD:
– The consequences for Poland of this disregard for the rulings of the most important court in the EU could be quite severe. These are huge financial penalties plus the risk of having part of the EU funds taken away from us. […] This action tarnishes our reputation throughout Europe.
From July 16 until the end of August 2021 the Court of Justice of the European Union will not be working on these cases due to the summer vacations. If no decision will have been made by now on imposing sanctions against Poland for failure to comply with the interim measure, then nothing will change in this matter until September.
The CJEU vacation is going to extend the duration of talks on the agreement between Poland and the Czech Republic.