Poland and the Czechia are going to resume negotiations on the Turów mine on Tuesday, and this time the Polish government has an ace up its sleeve, the Business Insider server wrote today. He refers to a document in which, according to him, Warsaw accuses Prague that the Czech ČSM mine at the border with Poland continues to mine without cross-border environmental consultations and without taking into account the comments of the Polish side. This could undermine the credibility of the Czech government before the Court of Justice of the European Union and force it to sign an agreement with Poland quickly, the website claims. The ČSM mine near Karviná deep, while Turów occupies 28 square kilometers on the surface.
According to Business Insider, this could be a breakthrough in the long struggle over Turów. Although the Czechs have so far acted harshly and did not want to accede to some elements of the agreement promoted by Poland, last week they allegedly softened their tone unexpectedly – the new Czech Ministry of the Environment Anna Hubáčková said the agreement was ready from a Czech perspective, writes Business Insider. He recalls the words of the head of the ministry that the Czech side will not propose any changes.
The Polish server describes this step as a change of attitude and links it to what has happened in recent weeks on another front. According to his findings, Poland wants to prove that the Czechs themselves do not respect international law when issuing permits for heavy coal and do not take into account the comments of neighboring countries on the harmful effects of mining on border areas. These are exactly the accusations that the Czech government is making against Poland, the server states, noting that this time it is a ČSM coal mine belonging to OKD.
Poland accuses the Czech Republic of extending the mining permit for this mine by five years at the end of 2021 without conducting a new environmental impact assessment, according to a server according to which Warsaw expressed “numerous concerns” about the impact of ČSM mining on Cieszyn district in Silesian Voivodeship.
Business Insider writes that it received a letter from the Polish General Directorate for Environmental Protection addressed to the Czech Ministry of the Environment. In it, the Polish side alleged, among other things, that the continuation of coal mining at the ČSM mine could “significantly negatively endanger the environment and health of the citizens of the Republic of Poland” and further operation of the mine without appropriate cross-border environmental impact assessment in breach of the Espoo transboundary environmental impacts.
The website stated that it was still waiting for the requested response from the Czech side.
Prague is in dispute with Warsaw over the Turów lignite mine at the Czech-Polish border, which mainly supplies the neighboring power plant with coal. The PGE Group wants to gradually expand and deepen. Last year, Poland allowed the expansion of mining, regardless of the Czech side’s objections. The inhabitants of the Czech borderland are suffering from water loss as well as excessive noise and dust.
For this reason, the Czechia turned to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which last May ordered Poland to suspend work with preliminary measures. However, the Poles reject this and question the effects on Czech territory. Last September in Warsaw, the EU Court of Justice fined half a million euros a day (about 12.6 million CZK) a day for failing to comply with an interim measure. Both parties are trying to resolve the dispute through an intergovernmental agreement, after which the Czechia would withdraw the lawsuit.
Poland owed nothing to the Czech Republic and alerted the Czech Republic to a number of threats posed by ČSM mining for the border villages of Hažlach and Zebrzydowice, including landslides, earthquakes and threats to the border river Olza, including the risk of a change in its flow, which would change Czech-Polish border, wrote Business Insider. He also reminded that part of the black coal from ČSM goes to the Polish market and many employees of this mine are from Poland.
According to him, the problem may be the fact that the significance of the ČSM and Turów mines is not the same. Turów is to be in operation until 2044 and its existence depends on the power plant, which is an important element in ensuring the stability of energy supplies in Poland, writes the server, according to which CSM will probably close at the end of this year and its absence will not endanger the Czech Republic’s energy security. However, this issue may put the Czechs in an unfavorable light, the letter said.