29. April 2021

Letter from 38 MEPs on the Turów lignite mine

Green New DealParlamentarische Aktivitäten

Dear Executive Vice-President Timmermans,
Dear Commissioner Sinkevičius,

We would like to bring your attention to the case of the Polish lignite mine in Turów, on the border with Czech Republic and Germany. Turów is an urgent matter that needs to be tackled as it is linked to our ability to achieve the goals of the European Green Deal and proper implementation of the EU climate law that has just been adopted.

As you are well informed, the legal licence for the mine expired on 30th of April 2020, but the mining is still ongoing, because of a flawed procedure leading to prolongation of the mining concession for six additional years. As the EU Commission already confirmed in its reasoned opinion from December 2020, the Polish authorities have incorrectly applied the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (2011/92/EU) and access to information Directive (2003/4/EC), as regards information to the public and Member States involved in trans-boundary consultations, access to justice, as well as the principle of loyal cooperation enshrined in Article 4(3) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU).

The first anniversary of the beginning of the illegal mining in Turów is just few of days away. We believe that too much time has passed and that the EU Commission should finally take effective measures to stop the violation of EU law in this case. European institutions must play a stronger role when EU law is violated, particularly in sensitive trans-boundary cases. The vulnerable neighbouring regions are calling for support from the EU Commission. We cannot leave this matter unattended. Member States should not be left alone to protect their citizens from environmental injustice and continuous violations of the European law by another Member State. As the guardian of the Treaties, the EU Commission must live up to this important and essential role, especially at a time when the European Green Deal and the recently adopted EU climate law requires all parties to step up their efforts towards the protection of our climate and environment. The Turów operation is not only breaching EU law: it is also in direct contradiction with EU climate goals and policies.

We appreciate the steps that the Commission has already done in this case, but we believe that the time has come to use all the instruments at your disposal to protect local citizens and the local environment. It is anyway your responsibility to enforce compliance with EU law by all the Member States.

Dear Commissioners, we therefore ask you to initiate an infringement procedure against Poland that takes into account the complaints of the Liberec region and from Saxony, as well as to ask Poland to resume the environmental impact assessment, to find a workable, lasting solution between the three neighbouring countries.

Yours sincerely,
MEP Mrs. Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Alviina Alametsä (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Rasmus Andresen (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Michael Bloss (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Leila Chaibi (GUE/NGL)
MEP Mr. Ignazio Corrao (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Martina Dlabajová (Renew)
MEP Mrs. Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL)
MEP Mr. Claude Gruffat (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Francisco Guerreiro (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Henrike Hahn (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Martin Häusling (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Martin Hojsík (Renew)
MEP Mr. Petros Kokkalis (GUE/NGL)
MEP Mrs. Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL)
MEP Mrs. Katrin Langensiepen (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Erik Marquardt (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Sara Matthieu (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Ulrike Müller (Renew)
MEP Mrs. Hannah Neumann (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Janina Ochojska (EPP)
MEP Mrs. Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Mikuláš Peksa (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP)
MEP Mr. Manu Pineda (GUE/NGL)
MEP Mrs. Sira Rego (GUE/NGL)
MEP Mrs. Terry Reintke (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Manuela Ripa (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Sylwia Spurek (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein (EPP)
MEP Mr. Ernest Urtasun (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mrs. Monika Vana (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Nikolaj Villumsen (GUE/NGL)
MEP Mrs. Sarah Wiener (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Michal Wiezik (EPP)
MEP Mrs. Tatjana Ždanoka (Greens/EFA)
MEP Mr. Tomáš Zdechovský (EPP)