Czechs reject another Polish proposal in lignite mine conflict

Maciej Kulczyński/PAP

The Czech Republic has rejected yet another proposal of a compromise over the contested Turów lignite mine that the Czechs claim endangers their ground waters.

Both the mine and the power plant are owned by the Polish state-controlled energy company PGE, but the Czech government has taken Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) over concerns that the complex has an adverse cross-border environmental impact.

Despite the CJEU issuing an injunction in May calling for the suspension of work at the mine, operations continued with the Polish government arguing that they were necessary at power plant at Turów, which is important to the security of both national and European energy supplies.

Petra Roubickova, a Czech environment ministry spokeswoman, said on Tuesday that the new Polish proposal had not been accepted and that the suggested compromise should be discussed with political parties that would be making up the new Czech government following the recent parliamentary election.

Roubickova said on Twitter that the proposal was unacceptable to the Czech environment ministry, the foreign ministry and the affected province.

"Taking into account the political situation, the application we received will have to be discussed by representatives of parties forming the government and only then will the Czech Republic be able to take further steps," she added without specifying details of the Polish offer.

Aleksander Brzózka, spokesman for the Polish environment ministry, in communications with PAP, also declined to reveal any provisions suggested in the new compromise.

"At the moment we don't want to discuss any details of the proposal," Brzózka said. "We have agreed with our Czech partners that we will talk to each other instead of talking to the media."

"We understand that the outgoing current Czech government must consult such matters with the incoming new government," he added.

The Polish-Czech negotiations have been going on for months, but have produced no tangible results yet.

In September, the CJEU imposed a daily fine on Poland of EUR 500,000 for failing to suspend operations at the mine.