Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-042"

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". Madam President, it is a good thing that we, despite the urbanisation that goes hand in hand with increasing prosperity, still boast valuable nature conservation areas within the European Union’s borders. These areas form part of the Natura 2000 network, which does something very important by ensuring that nature in the European Union is accorded a protected status, and, for example, by helping to maintain biodiversity. We approved Mr Adamou’s proposal only this week, in which a stand is made for maintaining biodiversity. Moreover, the Natura 2000 status ensures that the nature conservation areas remain intact for posterity. At least, that is how it should be. Not every government appears to realise this, as was evident last year. The Polish Government seeks to build the new road, the Via Baltica, right across the Natura 2000 area of the Rospuda Valley. Along with a delegation of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, I have visited the Rospuda valley and was able to see for myself how unique and valuable this Polish nature conservation site is. It is totally beyond me that it is the Polish Environment Minister, no less, who is in favour of this project, even though sound alternatives are available. He, of all people, should surely realise what disastrous effects this project could have. By way of compensation for the construction of the road, it is intended to plant a million trees to the north of the region, despite the adverse effects this will have on nature. I know that this is a very sensitive issue in Poland. For traffic safety, it is necessary for the Via Baltica to be in place soon, provided it is tailored to regional circumstances with minimum adverse effects on the environment. I am delighted that the Commission has issued warnings to the Polish Government, and that, when it received no response to its demands, it brought the matter before the European Court of Justice. It is to be hoped that the Court’s ruling of 18 April, according to which the Polish Government should stop the compensation measures with immediate effect, will be a message for the future – a message that Member States cannot simply tamper with valuable nature conservation sites."@en1

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