Warsaw and Prague signed an agreement on a controversial Polish lignite mine located near the border with Czech Republic.
As part of the deal, Poland will pay its neighbor €45 million ($51.5 million) and finance measures to prevent environmental damage to the local area. The payment will be split between the Polish government and the state-run PGE, the owner of the mine.
The deal also calls for the establishment of a Polish-Czech transition commission that will draft a plan to minimize the socioeconomic impact in the area in case the mine ceases to operate in the future.
The Czech government agreed to withdraw its complaint to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) once the payments have been made.
After the agreement with Czech Republic was announced, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the country would appeal against any fines that have already been imposed. He previously challenged the CJEU’s rulings and branded them “unlawful.”
Earlier on Thursday, Priit Pikamäe, advocate general at the European Court of Justice, issued a non-binding opinion in which he said Poland has breached the block’s environmental laws by extending the mine’s license until 2026 without conducting an environmental impact assessment. On Tuesday, a Polish court issued a similar opinion.
The agreement reached on Thursday follows months of turbulent negotiations between the two neighboring nations. The Polish government countered Czech concerns over environmental damage to the border area with claims that the mine provides coal to a nearby power plant that generates about 5% of the country’s energy and cannot be shut down.