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ClientEarth Communications

15th May 2018

Wildlife & habitats
Communities & forests
Nature Directives
Defending habitats
Protected Areas
Illegal Logging

Polish government confirms it will half-comply with EU Court order on illegal logging – minutes after press conference highlights failure to act

The Polish government has confirmed it will half-comply with EU judges’ order to immediately reverse its illegal decision to allow huge logging in Bialowieza Forest, 20 minutes after environmentalists held a press conference highlighting its failure to act.

In the four weeks since the judgment, which was effective straightaway, the country’s environment minister had repeated tired arguments and played for time. However, he has now agreed to repeal one of the two illegal logging permits.

ClientEarth lawyer Agata Szafraniuk said: "The judgment of the EU Court has been in force for a month. Meanwhile, Minister Henryk Kowalczyk had not repealed the decisions that allow a threefold increase of logging in Europe’s oldest forest.

“EU judges said that these acts and the way they were adopted violate EU law. As long as Minister Kowalczyk does not quash them, Poland is not complying with the ruling. Repealing the first is a step in the right direction, now he must annul the second.”