EU-tuomioistuin määräsi Puolan maksamaan 500.000 euroa päivässä sakkoa kunnes aiempaa väliaikaismääräystä noudatetaan

20.9.2021 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Poland is ordered to pay the European Commission a daily penalty payment of € 500 000 because it has not ceased lignite extraction activities at Turów mine.

Such a measure appears necessary in order to strengthen the effectiveness of the interim measures decided upon in the order of 21 May 2021 and to deter that Member State from delaying bringing its conduct into line with that order.

The Turów open-cast lignite mine is located on Polish territory, close to the borders of the Czech Republic and Germany. In 1994, the competent Polish authorities granted PGE Elektrownia
Betchat6w S.A., now PGE G6rnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna S.A. (‘the operator’), a concession to operate that mine until 30 April 2020. According to a Polish law of 2008, 1 the validity of a lignite mining concession may be extended once for a period of six years without any environmental impact assessment where that extension is motivated by rational management of the deposit without extending the scope of the concession. On 24 October 2019, the operator submitted an application to extend that concession for six years. On 21 January 2020, the Regional Director of Environmental Protection in Wrodaw adopted the decision on environmental conditions for the project relating to the continued exploitation of the Turów lignite deposit until 2044 (‘the EIA decision’) and on 23 January 2020 declared that decision immediately enforceable. On 24 January 2020, the operator attached the EIA Decision to its 2019
application for the extension of the mining concession. By a decision of 20 March 2020, the Polish Minister for Climate granted permission for lignite mining until 2026.

Considering that Poland had infringed EU law in several respects by granting that permission, the Czech Republic referred the matter to the European Commission on 30 September 2020. 2 On 17 December 2020, the Commission issued a reasoned opinion in which it criticised Poland for several breaches of EU law. In particular, the Commission considered that, by adopting a measure allowing a six-year extension of a lignite mining permit without carrying out an environmental impact assessment, Poland had breached the Directive on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. Taking the view that Poland had infringed EU law, 4 the Czech Republic brought an action for failure to fulfil obligations before the Court of Justice on 26 February 2021.


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