The head of the Polish government has paid a visit to Prague, where he met with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala. Following negotiations conducted by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, an agreement was signed to end the dispute over the operation of the Turów Brown Coal Mine. At the same time, the Czech Republic undertook to withdraw its complaint in this case, which it submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Thanks to the agreement, the Turów mine and power plant will be able to continue operating, protecting a key element of Poland's energy security.
Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said: “The signing of the Turow agreement is fundamentally important to us from a strategic point of view. Today, we are opening a new chapter in Polish-Czech relations, looking to the future with optimism. We need it as neighbours and as countries on the eastern flank of the European Union and NATO.”
The agreement creates a stable mechanism that binds the Polish and Czech sides. Thanks to this, it is guaranteed that the Turów mine and power plant will be able to continue to operate. Without the agreement, the functioning of the mine would not receive additional legal protection.
As a result of the contract, the government can also help the inhabitants of the region, protecting them against loss of jobs. At the same time, it is introducing additional mechanisms that will ensure clean air and access to water, and will better protect the environment on both sides of the border.
“I would like to thank Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, because without his active participation we would not have managed to achieve the final wording of this agreement and a successful effect,” commented the head of the Czech government, Petr Fiala.
Turów power plant agreement
Poland and the Czech Republic signed an agreement in which they undertook to cooperate in the implementation and financing of activities in the Czech Republic to detect, minimise and prevent the effects (including their monitoring) that result from the exploitation and subsequent rehabilitation works at the Turów mine.
At the same time, both countries decided to amicably resolve the dispute brought to the CJEU on the basis of a complaint by the Czech Republic regarding the expansion of the operation of the Turów mine. As a result of the signed agreement, the Czech Republic undertook to withdraw its complaint with the CJEU.
The concluded contract also provides for, inter alia, the establishment of a Polish-Czech just transformation commission, which will also include representatives of local self-governments. The Commission will draw up a Just Transition Strategy for the region.
Importantly, the agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is much more favourable for Poland than the original version of the agreement proposed by the Czech Republic.
The agreement on the Turów mine was the subject of intense talks between Poland and the Czech Republic. From 16 June 2021, 19 negotiation meetings were held, with the participation of the Polish side in a specially appointed team, consisting of representatives of the Minister of State Assets, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister for EU Affairs and the Minister of Climate and Environment.
The last negotiating meeting was held on 18 January 2022 in Warsaw. It was also the first meeting with representatives of the new Czech government.
Rebuilding Polish-Czech relations
After difficult months of negotiations with the previous Czech government, Poland has now been able to reach an agreement very quickly with the new cabinet of Petr Fiali. The countries have many common interests, especially in the field of security, including energy. Resolving the dispute over the Turów mine will allow them to focus on good cooperation in many other strategically important matters.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/07022022/poland-and-the-czech-republic-sign-turw-mine-agreement/