EU executive asks court to fine Poland over logging
PR dla Zagranicy
The European Commission has formally asked the EU's top court to impose a financial penalty on Poland for allegedly ignoring a ban on extensive logging in its primaeval Białowieża Forest.
Photo: Robert_z_Ziemi/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative Commons
The EU's executive did not specify the proposed amount of the penalty, leaving it to the court’s judges to decide, according to a report by Polish Radio’s IAR news agency.
Poland now has four days to make its case, IAR reported.
On Monday, the EU's executive demanded before the European Court of Justice, the highest legal authority of the European Union, that Warsaw face financial penalties for excessive logging operations in the protected forest.
European Commission lawyer Katarzyna Hermann argued at the time that the Polish authorities had infringed an interim ban on logging in the ancient forest.
Polish Environment Minister Jan Szyszko, in turn, called on the court to revoke its injunction to suspend logging in the forest. He argued that Poland respected EU regulations.
“We have fully complied with [the court’s July] ruling to suspend logging,” Szyszko said, adding that current operations were solely aimed at ensuring public safety.
The European Commission says the mass felling operations pose a risk of irreversible damage to the last remaining old-growth forest in Europe, a UNESCO-listed site.
The Polish authorities maintain that logging is indispensable in the forest to protect habitats from a bark beetle infestation. (gs/pk)