Judicial ruling on Polish logging expected to escalate confrontation with Brussels

Judicial ruling on Polish logging expected to escalate confrontation with Brussels

The EU’s top court is expected to rule on a case concerning Polish logging operations in one of Europe’s last

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Photo: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

The EU’s top court is expected to rule on a case concerning Polish logging operations in one of Europe’s last remaining ancient forests.

In 2016, Poland announced it would triple the amount of logging allowed in the Bialowieza Forest, home to several endangered species. The European Commission sued Poland, claiming the order was in violation of EU conservation laws. The Polish government has countered by arguing the heightened logging was necessary to cope with a beetle infestation. and has since ignored several court injunctions.

With the ongoing dispute over judicial reforms, Poland’s defiance of the ECJ is yet another example of the existing tensions between Poland and the EU. Many analysts fear further strains on the relationship could lead to Poland’s right-wing government turning away from respecting the EU as a supranational organisation.

However, such a scenario is appearing increasingly unlikely. The government’s recent cabinet shuffle and move toward the direction of compromise regarding the judicial reforms dispute signals that Poland is indeed moving more in the direction of EU cooperation rather than defiance. If the European Court of Justice rules against Poland today, take note of if Poland complies.