Czech Republic demands Poland pays fine over failure to close Turow mine

Poland may face daily fines of EUR 5 million over its failure to close the Turow mine as Czech Republic plans filing such demand with the EU Court of Justice (CJEU), according to the Czech press agency CTK.

On May 21, the CJEU ruled that Poland should immediately cease lignite mining at the Turow mine which belongs to the state-owned energy group PGE.

Poland declined to halt production of the mine, calling the decision "disproportional" and a threat to the stability of the country's energy system.

The Turow open-cast mine is located close to Poland's border with the Czech Republic and Germany.

The Czech Republic has been seeking its closure owing to environmental concerns.

On May 25, PM Mateusz Morawiecki claimed Poland was "very close" to an agreement with the Czechs that would end the dispute and the CJEU case.

According to Morawiecki, both sides plan long-term projects co-financed by the Polish side to the tune of EUR 45 million. The co-financing will include funds from the state budget, local governments and PGE.

Government spokesperson Piotr Mueller said on Tuesday that Czech Prime Minister Andrzej Babis decided on Monday to act as a negotiator with the Polish side.

"Generally speaking, prime minister Babis has received the mandate to negotiate this matter to a peaceful conclusion," Mueller said in a radio interview.

Morawiecki's office head Michal Dworczyk said on Tuesday that both the Polish and Czech side wanted to see the issue resolved as soon as possible. Dworczyk said a currently prepared bilateral agreement in the matter "should lead to the conclusion of the conflict."