Czechs may withdraw from CJEU complaint about Turow mine when deal signed - official

The Czech Republic will withdraw a lawsuit it filed to the EU's top court regarding operations at a lignite coal mine in south-west of Poland, after the adoption of the bilateral agreement, the deputy state assets minister has said.

"So, let there not be any misunderstanding: the complaint has not been withdrawn today, it will be withdrawn only after the agreement is accepted by both parties, Artur Sobon said on Tuesday.

Last week, the CJEU ordered the Turow lignite mine, which lies near the Czech border, to suspend extraction pending a final decision in the case.

Sobon said that in yesterday's agreement with the Czechs that the "basic terms of the contract" had been established and added that the Czechs are now working on the draft contract.

Government spokesperson Piotr Mueller said on Tuesday morning that negotiations with the Czechs regarding the Turow mine are now being concluded. "The finalisation of this agreement is a condition for withdrawing the Czech complaint filed to the CJEU," he added.

He pointed out that the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said earlier on Tuesday that he was waiting for the finalisation of this agreement and this is a condition for withdrawing the complaint to the Court of Justice of the EU.

"The same was said yesterday by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who indicated that the signing of this agreement, which we are finalising at the moment, is a condition for the Czech side to withdraw the complaint to the CJEU," Mueller said.

According to Reuters, Babis said on Tuesday in Brussels that his "government has no plans to withdraw a lawsuit filed against Poland over the Turow mine as no agreement has been reached yet."

Morawiecki and Babis, met before an EU summit in Brussels on Monday to discuss the Polish Turow lignite mine that the Czechs want to see shut down through the European Court of Justice (CJEU) ruling.

"Given the tightening of cross-border cooperation with the Czech Republic, it seems that we are already very close to an agreement," Mateusz Morawiecki said after the meeting.

"As a result of it, the Czech Republic agreed to withdraw its application to the CJEU," he said early on Tuesday.

The Czech Republic has been seeking Turow lignite mine closure due to environmental concerns. The Czechs believe it has a negative impact on border regions where the groundwater level has decreased.