Poland starts coal phase-out talks with EU

Poland has started talks with the European Commission on the pre-notification of its hard coal mining phase-out programme, Artur Soboń, Secretary of State in the Ministry of State Assets, told the Polish Radio. “We arranged technical, working meetings every 10 days,” he added.

He also declared that the government hopes to start a related state aid package for the mining sector in 2022.

“We held talks in Brussels yesterday as part of the pre-notification process, because we want the notification to be preceded by the Commission's approval for applying two mining sector public aid instruments,” he said, adding that “we would want to launch the public aid next year.”

In late May, Poland's government and coal mining unions signed a social contract for the sector based on the assumption that coal mining will be phased out by 2049, and now the agreement is waiting for approval from Brussels.

In order for the contract to take effect, the European Commission has to approve Poland's aid program for the coal industry, which includes subsidies for mines owned by power utility Tauron, coal group PGG and coal trader Węglokoks Kraj.

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