Draft deal with Poland over Turow mine ready, says Czech minister

Czech Environment Minister Anna Hubackova has announced that the draft agreement with Poland to end a dispute over the Turow lignite mine is ready and will be submitted for discussion by the Petr Fiala's government.

Last year, the Czech government took Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) over the alleged negative environmental impact of the Turow lignite mine, which lies close to the Czech border in south-west Poland.

In September 2021, the CJEU imposed a daily fine of EUR 500,000 on Poland for failing to suspend operations at the mine, but Poland has refused to close the mine and to pay up.

The deadline to pay the fines to Brussels passed on January 18.

The Czech minister spoke with Poland's Climate Minister Anna Moskwa in Warsaw last Tuesday. After the meeting, Moskwa said that the potential Polish-Czech agreement over Turow includes the withdrawal of the case from the CJEU.

Hubackova wrote on Twitter on Saturday that "a detailed draft agreement with Poland regarding Turow... is ready for discussion at a government meeting."

She added that the draft document was submitted to the local government authorities of the Liberec region, which borders the Bogatynia region where Turow is located, and to the Czech embassy in Warsaw.

Hubackova told the Czech News Agency CTK that under the draft, the Czech Republic will receive EUR 50 million for the damage caused by the mine's operation. According to her, Poland has so far agreed to pay EUR 40 million.

The issue of CJEU's supervision over the future contract is also pending. The Czech side wants it to last ten years, and Poland, according to Hubackova, seeks a two-year supervision.

Poland and the Czech Republic have held 19 rounds of talks over Turow so far.

CTK wrote that the Czech government is to decide whether Polish-Czech negotiations should be continued by the ministers of environment and climate, or conducted by the prime ministers of both countries.