Case C-441/17 | European Commission v Republic of Poland

Author (Corporate)
Series Details C-441/17
Publication Date 2017-2018
Content Type ,


Judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on a Decision from Poland related to logging in the protected Białowieża Forest.

Further information:

The Białowieża Forest is a protected Natura 2000 site. It is a Unesco World Heritage site and features some of Europe's last primeval woodland. In March 2016, the Polish authorities adopted a decision allowing for a three-fold increase in logging operations in its district, as well as for logging in areas so far excluded from any intervention. Later in the year, the European Commission launched an investigation into logging in this forest, and in July 2017 it decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

An interim measure was put in place on 27 July 2017 ordering the country to cease active forest management operations. On 20 February 2018, the Court's Advocate General issued an Opinion which considers forestry management decisions taken by Poland concerning the Puszcza Białowieska site to infringe EU law, as those decisions are necessarily liable to result in a deterioration of the breeding sited of the protected species. On 17 April, the judgement of the Court of Justice confirms the previous Opinion, arguing that Poland had failed to fulfil its obligations under the Habitats and Birds Directives.

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Commentary and Analysis
Euro|topics, April 2018: ECJ bans logging in ancient forest in Poland

The Guardian, 31/07/2017: Poland vows to continue logging in Białowieża forest despite court ban
Deutsche Welle, 31/07/2017: Poland to ignore EU court order
Radio Poland, 31/07/2017: Poland to plough on despite EU court ban on logging
EurActiv, 31/07/2017: EU court bans logging in Poland’s primeval forest
Radio Poland, 02/08/2017: EU may add logging case to rule of law proceedings against Poland
Reuters, 03/08/2017: Activists accuse Poland of logging in ancient forest despite EU order
EUObserver, 04/08/2017: Polish government preparing EU rift, Tusk warns
EurActiv, 04/08/2017: Poland accused of ignoring EU ruling on protected forest logging
Politico, 08/09/2017: Poland opens another front with Brussels over primeval forest
Politico, 11/09/2017: EU and Poland go head-to-head over logging in ancient forest
Radio Poland, 11/09/2017: EC motions for penalty for Poland over logging,EC-motions-for-penalty-for-Poland-over-logging
EurActiv, 12/09/2017: Poland, Commission clash in top court over ancient forest
Reuters, 19/02/2018: Poland spares forest to win EU favor, but damage already done
Deutsche Welle, 20/02/2018: European court opinion offers hope for Poland's primeval forest
Jurist, 20/02/2018: EU court advisor: Poland logging unlawful
EUObserver, 20/02/2018: Poland wrong to log in ancient forest, says EU lawyer
Politico, 20/02/2018: ECJ adviser: Increased logging in Białowieża forest breaches EU law
EurActiv, 20/02/2018: EU court fells Poland’s illegal logging of ancient forest
Radio Poland, 21/02/2018: Poland’s environment minister to talk primaeval forest in Brussels
Reuters, 17/04/2018: Poland loses forest battle with EU, pushes for broader thaw
EurActiv, 17/04/2018: Poland’s logging of protected forest is illegal, top EU court rules
EuObserver, 17/04/2018: EU court rules Polish logging in ancient forest was illegal
Politico, 17/04/2018: ECJ rules that Poland breached EU nature laws in ancient forest
Nature, 17/04/2018: EU’s top court says logging in Poland’s ancient forest was illegal
BBC News, 17/04/2018: Bialowieza forest: Poland broke EU law by logging
The Guardian, 17/04/2018: Poland violated EU laws by logging in Białowieża forest, court rules

UNESCO: State of Conservation of 'Białowieża Forest', 20 July 2017
CJEU: Opinion of the Advocate General in the case C-441/17 Commission v Poland, 20 February 2018
CJEU: Press Release: Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-441/17 Commission v Poland, 17 April 2018

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