EC summons Poland over EU forest protection ruling

The European Commission has called on Poland to abide to a ruling on animal and animal habitat protection in the Białowieża Forest.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Commission said Poland had failed to fully comply with the ruling made by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on April 17, 2018.

The Białowieża Forest, which straddles the Polish-Belarusian border, is one of the last, and largest, stretches of primeval forest left in Europe.

The Commission said that Poland had failed to institute the necessary measures for the protection of endangered species and habitats in its part of the pristine forest.

In particular it pointed to Poland's omission to waive an annex to a 2016 development plan for the forest, which is incompatible with EU directives.

Brussels has given Poland a two-month deadline to respond. A failure to do so could result in financial sanctions.

Later on Thursday, the Ministry of Climate and Environment said that Poland was immediately proceeding with the implementation of the CJEU ruling and that Poland's State Forests agency had written a draft of a new annex to the forest management plan for Białowieża, which will soon be submitted to the European Commission.