Polish PM says Czechs agree to withdraw lawsuit about Turow mine

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arrives on the second day of a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium

The Czech Republic has agreed to withdraw a lawsuit it filed at the European Union’s top court to halt operations at a lignite coal mine in Poland, the Polish prime minister said on Tuesday.

On Friday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ordered Poland to immediately stop mining at the Turow mine operated by state-run PGE (PGE.WA), pending a final decision in the case.

The Czech government had argued that a planned expansion of the open-pit mine was environmentally damaging for communities on its side of the border, and that Warsaw had violated EU law by extending mining at Turow until 2026.

But Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the two governments were now near an agreement to de-escalate the dispute.

“Given the tightening of cross-border cooperation with the Czech Republic, it seems that we are already very close to an agreement,” Morawiecki said on Twitter after an EU summit in Brussels.

“As a result of this agreement, the Czech Republic agreed to withdraw its lawsuit to the CJEU.”

The Czech government office had no immediate comment.

Czech Environment Minister Richard Brabec, speaking before Morawiecki’s comments, told Czech Television late on Monday a deal would include some compensation for the “tens of thousands” on the Czech side to solve the water issues caused by the mine. Technical commitments would be part of a deal, he said.

Enviromental groups and Czechs living close to the border had complained about the mine, saying the drinking water supply has been affected and they have suffered from noise and dust as well as subsidence.

“We agreed to set up an expert committee to investigate the environmental issues related to the open pit,” Morawiecki said, adding that PGE would invest to lessen the outflow of water from the mine.

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