PM wants amicable solution of Polish-Czech dispute over mine
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said that if the Czech Republic accepts a new deal concerning a Polish lignite mine near the Czech border, a dispute that led the EU’s top court ordering the mine’s closure could be resolved amicably.
The Czech Republic has been seeking the closure of the Turów lignite mine, which lies close to the Czech border, due to environmental concerns.
It brought a case against the mine before the Court of Justice of the European Union, which ordered the mine’s immediate closure pending a final verdict.
On Monday, Morawiecki said that Poland would refuse to shut down the mine because it could not afford it due to the threat of a closure posed to energy security and to local jobs.
But in an effort to resolve the dispute on Tuesday, Morawiecki said he had met his Czech counterpart, Andrej Babis, on Monday during an EU summit in Brussels.
Following the meeting Morawiecki said that two sides had the basis of an agreement, which, if accepted, means "an amicable solution to this dispute in sight."
Morawiecki said that the Czech Republic had agreed that it would withdraw the lawsuit it had filed with the EU's top court.
"We agreed to set up an expert committee to investigate the environmental issues related to the open pit," Morawiecki added, saying that both sides plan long-term projects co-financed by the Polish side to the tune of EUR 45 million.
He added that the co-financing will include funds from the state budget, local governments and the state-owned PGE firm, the largest Polish energy company, which is the owner of the Turów mine and the adjacent power plant.
Morawiecki vowed that the Turów mine and the power plant will continue to work.