Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-043"

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"Madam President, the planned construction of the Via Baltica has caused a lot of controversy, as have many other trans-European transport routes. Having studied the Commission’s statistics on the subject, it is clear that a number of Member States have considerable problems related to planning infrastructure projects in the areas covered by the Natura 2000 network, namely Austria, Spain and Portugal. At the moment, the Polish Government still wants to continue the construction of the Augustów bypass which will pass through the Rospuda Valley. It argues that the decision regarding the project was made before Poland joined the European Union, when Poland was not bound by the strict requirements of the European Union directives on birds and habitats. The European Commission is accusing Poland of infringing these directives as a result of its investment in the road building project. For Poland, road safety is the argument that speaks in favour of constructing the bypass. However, the environmental criteria that need to be fulfilled in the implementation of this project, seem to have been forgotten. However, in spite of the current situation, we cannot allow talks on the issue of the ring road to stall. The problem has to be solved in the form of a compromise which will be satisfactory for both sides. Both arguments, namely those concerning environmental aspects and road safety, are equally important and will affect hundreds of similar projects in Poland and elsewhere. We should make cooperation mechanisms more efficient at various levels and adapt the regulatory criteria to the current environmental and social situation. However, I would appeal for similar requests for debate to be treated equally in the future. To this day, in spite of the support of over 60 Members, no permission has been granted for a debate on the biggest environmental threat resulting from the construction of the North European Gas Pipeline under the Baltic sea. I would like to remind you that over 10% of marine areas are part of the Natura 2000 network and no one, literally no one, has taken this issue up in the European Parliament. At the moment, when important areas of biodiversity are being destroyed before the very eyes of environmentalists and the whole of Europe, there seems to be no will to discuss the issue of the environmental threat to our only internal sea, namely the Baltic."@en1

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