Czech-Polish agreement in the Turów dispute
Prague and Warsaw have reached an agreement in their dispute over the Polish Turów coal mine located in the border triangle of Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland. The ECJ had already decided in favour of the Czech Republic, ruling that Turów was causing environmental damage. The mine will now be allowed to continue to operate under certain conditions. Poland will pay compensation and the Czech Republic will withdraw its complaint.
Prague's consistency has paid off
Hospodářské noviny praises the upstanding attitude of the Czech side:
“Poland has committed itself to preventing the discharge of groundwater from the Czech Republic and will pay another 45 million euros in compensation. ... In the dispute over Turów, the Polish side got the short end of the stick from the outset, but mainly through its own fault. For years it ignored the Czechs' efforts to negotiate, then it couldn't put together an effective response to the lawsuit and tried to take Czech politicians by surprise in various cases. In the end, it was able to save five million euros in compensation. But it is uncertain whether it will not end up having to pay the European Union many times that amount in fines.”
Why didn't we do this from the start?
Rzeczpospolita is relieved:
“It's good to have turned our backs on this dispute which strained relations with the second largest purchaser of Polish exports and our partner in the Visegrád Four - a format that played an important role for 30 years but has recently lost some of its former clout. It's time to be accountable. We should ask ourselves quite clearly: why did we have to act the way we did? It would never have come to a lawsuit before the ECJ if our neighbours' complaints had been treated with the seriousness they deserve.”
Calculate like the Czechs
For commentator Adam Grzeszak the dispute has not yet been successfully settled. He writes in Polityka:
“This all sounds good, but is it? I have my doubts. ... Let's hope [Prime Minister Morawiecki] has not miscalculated. For now he assures us that the Czechs will withdraw their complaint and the fines [in line with the ECJ ruling on daily penalty payments] will be stopped. When? Immediately - he claimed. The Czechs, on the other hand, named the deadline by which they want to see the money on their account. So that's how things stand with our credibility and the fresh start in Prague-Warsaw relations. Let us love each other like brothers, but let us calculate like the Czechs.”
Crime against nature continues
Deník too is not completely satisfied with the compromise:
“The question is whether the whole agreement will work. It can only work if Poland and the Polish mining company PGE start treating the Czechs as people who have the same rights as the Poles. That is, if they compensate financially and otherwise for the problems caused by the mine; if the coal is mined in such a way that the landscape around the mine and the people living there suffer as little damage as possible. Nevertheless, the Turów mine will continue to be a crime in the landscape of the charming Czech-Polish-German triangle. A crime whose continuation, however, can only be stopped by the Poles themselves.”