Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-037"

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"Madam President, we can view the case of the Via Baltica and the Rospuda Valley from two different perspectives which should not be contradictory. The first point of view is a practical one, involving the people who live there and who use those roads. It is not only Poles who are affected, but also the inhabitants of the Baltic states and Scandinavia. It is a real problem which we cannot ignore. Many people die on these roads. These people have a right to roads that are built to the highest standard possible and they have a right to travel in comfort and safety. The other issue at stake here is that of the authorities taking responsibility for decisions that they make. It is not true, in spite of attempts to prove to the contrary, that there is no alternative route. There is an alternative. It is possible and practical to implement and needs only the necessary political will. In Poland, this issue has been debated for many years. We, together with a group of Members of the European Parliament, drew attention to this problem last year when we tabled a question to the Commission and appealed to the Polish Government to stop this project from going ahead, as it would be a good idea for the project to already comply with European standards at the planning stage. The second issue is that of lessons learnt. This is the first case of its kind in Poland, and sets a precedent. We, as Members of the European Parliament, and the European institutions should take care to ensure that, for the good of citizens and in order to improve their safety, all Member States plan their investment projects properly, in line with European Union directives and environmental protection standards. This can be achieved. There are no contradictions. This lesson has to be very effective. We, the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, therefore strongly support a solution that will allow the Via Baltica to be built as soon as possible. However, this solution also needs to quickly lead to a breakthrough based on the fact that it is pointless to insist on bad decisions that damage the environment."@en1

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