Poland faces court deadline in logging case: report
PR dla Zagranicy
The European Court of Justice has given Poland a 4 August deadline to explain its logging activities in the UNESCO-listed primaeval Białowieża forest in the country's northeast, an unnamed government official told the PAP news agency.
Effects of logging in the Białowieża forest. Photo:Wikimedia Commons/Juan de Vojníkov.
Two weeks ago Brussels announced it would take Poland to the court, a move which could mean hefty fines for Warsaw.
“The European Commission wants the court to order Poland to immediately stop logging in the Białowieża forest,” the source said.
“It lodged an application with the court, which passed the information on to Poland and gave us until 4 August to give our reactions to the commission's allegations,” the source added.
The source went on to say that the court would then decide whether or not to ban further logging. If it did ban logging, and if Poland were to continue, Warsaw would be hit with fines.
The European Commission wants the European court to determine whether Warsaw is violating EU directives on habitats and birds.
But Poland claims that trees are being cut down to stop a spruce bark beetle infestation.
The Polish environment ministry earlier said the fight against the plague aimed “only at returning [the forest] to its state from the past when it delighted with its majesty and beauty”.
A Polish environment ministry spokesman said Warsaw's explanations would be sent before the deadline. (vb/pk)