Mining transformation of Silesia

Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa presented its activities in post-mining areas during an off-site meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Subcommittee on Just Transition. The meeting lasted two days and was held in Jastrzębie-Zdrój.

photo: Dawid Lach

The participants visited the site of the decommissioned "Jastrzębie" mine during the first day of the meeting. They also discussed necessary legislative changes in the context of effective utilization of funds from the Just Transition Mechanism.

- This is a unique opportunity to talk about the future of our coal regions at the center of the coal industry. The Just Transition Fund was created for regions like this one. This is right moment for our coal regions, let's make use of this time - appealed Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament.

On the next day of the meeting, MPs, local government officials and experts discussed how to return post-mining areas to the local community. The "Jastrzębie" mine, which is winding down its operations, was used as an example.

- On the part of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa we hand over all the mine sites which can be used to activate local and external entrepreneurs - assured Tomasz Cudny, President of the Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa Management Board, adding that in the next stage the sedimentation tanks and the rail siding should also be transferred to Spółka Restrukturyzacji Kopalń. - We want these areas to serve the city, also for the benefit of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa - emphasized the JSW President.

According to the MPs attending the session, 17 mines were transferred to Spółka Restrukturyzacji Kopalń between 2016 and 2020, and another 12 mines are expected to end operations in the years to come. Deputy Minister of State Assets Piotr Pyzik pointed out that the mining transformation will not be easy or pleasant. However, it should be relatively painless. - We are looking at it from the perspective of what we will leave behind for the next generation and what opportunity we will give them, both for the development of the region and their own development. Everything we have discussed must be good for the Polish economy and for the citizens - said Piotr Pyzik, Deputy Minister of State Assets responsible for mining, and noted: - I hope that what will happen in Jastrzębie-Zdrój will be a sort of pilot for further actions in other mining municipalities.

The two-day meeting was organized at the request of subcommittee chairman Krzysztof Gadowski. The subcommittee operates within the Parliamentary European Union Committee.

- During these two days, we dealt with entities that are in a position to pick up this issue and, with the State participation, based on good laws, make sure that jobs don't disappear from here permanently. It is important that this area is economically alive and becomes a new stabilizer for the Jastrzębie-Zdrój community - summarized Krzysztof Gadowski, chairman of the Standing Subcommittee on Just Transition.