End of Polish-Czech mine dispute in sight, says minister

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Anna Moskwa, the Polish climate minister, has said that the Tuesday talks between her and her Czech counterpart may soon result in an agreement that will end the dispute over a Polish lignite mine.

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.

"Now Minister Anna Hubackova must return to her coalition government to have these arrangements endorsed, or perhaps come back with some suggestions," Moskwa told Polish Radio One on Wednesday.

"If the Czech government approves my arrangements with the minister, we'll sign an agreement right away," she said adding that it would be an inter-governmental agreement.

Commenting on the latest round of talks, Moskwa said that "we did sort out the things that we were able to sort out at our level."

According to Moskwa, the potential agreement includes the withdrawal of the Turow case from the CJEU.

Poland and the Czech Republic have held 19 rounds of talks so far, but no agreement has been reached yet.