Judgement in Case C-441/17 Commission v Poland

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details C-441/17
Publication Date 17/04/2018
Content Type

Further information:

According to Advocate General Yves Bot, the forestry management decisions taken by Poland concerning the Natura 2000 Puszcza infringe EU law. The magistrate argues that those decisions are necessarily liable to result in a deterioration of the breeding sites of the protected species.

According to the CJEU, the forest management operations concerning the Puszcza Białowieska Natura 2000 site that have been undertaken by Poland infringe EU law. The implementation of those operations in fact results in the loss of a part of that site.

Background information:

The Białowieża Forest is a protected Natura 2000 site. 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.

+ EU and Poland clash over plans to log primeval forest, June 2016

These measures - which include the removal of century old trees - pose a major threat to the integrity of this site. The Natura 2000 site protects species and habitats that are dependent on old-growth forests, including the availability of dead wood.

In April 2017, the European Commission issued a reasoned opinion urging Poland to refrain from large scale logging and giving Poland one month to comply. In spite of this, Poland began to implement its plan. In July 2017, the Commission decided to refer the country to the Court of Justice.

The Advocate General of the CJEU published on 20 February 2018 his Opinion on Case C-441/17 between the European Commission and Poland over logging in Białowieża Forest.

On 17 April 2018, the European Court of Justice published its judgement on this case.

Source Link http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?&num=C-441%252F17
Related Link(s)
CJEU: Opinion of the Advocate General in the case C-441/17 Commission v Poland [February 2018] https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/p1_821334/en/
Radio Poland, 21.02.18: Poland’s environment minister to talk primaeval forest in Brussels http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/350371
Deutsche Welle, 20.02.18: European court opinion offers hope for Poland's primeval forest http://p.dw.com/p/2szDO
Jurist, 20.02.18: EU court advisor: Poland logging unlawful http://www.jurist.org/paperchase/2018/02/eu-court-advisor-poland-logging-unlawful.php
EUObserver, 20.02.18: Poland wrong to log in ancient forest, says EU lawyer https://euobserver.com/environment/141041
Politico, 20.02.18: ECJ adviser: Increased logging in Białowieża forest breaches EU law https://www.politico.eu/article/ecj-adviser-increased-logging-in-bialowiesza-forest-breaches-eu-law/
EurActiv, 20.02.18: EU court fells Poland’s illegal logging of ancient forest https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/eu-court-fells-polands-illegal-logging-of-ancient-forest/
Reuters, 19.02.18: Poland spares forest to win EU favor, but damage already done https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1G310X
CJEU: Press Release: Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-441/17 Commission v Poland https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/p1_974976/en/
Reuters, 17.04.18: Poland loses forest battle with EU, pushes for broader thaw https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-poland-forest/poland-loses-forest-battle-with-eu-pushes-for-broader-thaw-idUSKBN1HO10J
EurActiv, 17.04.18: Poland’s logging of protected forest is illegal, top EU court rules https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/polands-logging-of-protected-forest-is-illegal-top-eu-court-rules/
EuObserver, 17.04.18: EU court rules Polish logging in ancient forest was illegal https://euobserver.com/tickers/141623
Euro|topics, April 2018: ECJ bans logging in ancient forest in Poland http://www.eurotopics.net/en/197999/ecj-bans-logging-in-ancient-forest-in-poland

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