The European Commission said on Wednesday it would take part in the Czech Republic's lawsuit against Poland at Europe's highest court over the expansion of the Polish Turow open-pit brown coal mine near the two countries' border.
"I can now confirm that the Commission has today submitted its request to intervene before the Court of Justice of the EU in Case C-121/21 Czechia v Poland," a spokesperson said.
The Commission said in December that Poland had committed some infringements of European Union law that the Czech Republic had claimed in the case. Those included incorrectly applying EU laws requiring it to consult the public and neighbouring countries over extending the life of the mine.
The Czech government brought the case against its northern neighbour saying the mine's expansion was damaging communities on its side of the central European frontier.
The two countries, though, are seeking to negotiate an agreement and possible withdrawal of the lawsuit if agreed conditions are met. read more
Neither the Polish Climate Ministry nor the government were immediately available for comment. The Czech environment and foreign ministries had no immediate comment.
In May, the European Court of Justice ordered Poland to immediately stop mining at the site, which is operated by Polish state-run company PGE (PGE.WA), pending a final decision in the case, which the Czech Republic filed in February.
Poland, which relies more than most EU countries on coal in its energy mix, has said stopping the mine would be an "energy disaster" and cause social problems in the region.
Environmental groups and Czechs living close to the border have complained that drinking water supplies have been affected by the mine and that they have suffered from noise, dust and subsidence.
The Czechs have sought some compensation, including possible fines of five million euros a day for not immediately stopping the mining, and covering of costs for new water sources as part of the agreement they are seeking with Poland.
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