Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-045"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, the Augustavas bypass should become part of the Via Baltica. This is very important to the city of Augustavas, where about 1.5 million vehicles annually drive through the centre of the city. The European Commission has appealed to the European Court of Justice against Poland's building of the Augustavas bypass on the Via Baltica, which was commenced before Poland joined the EU. The appeal is based on claims that the environmental protection requirements of the Rospuda Valley, through which the projected viaduct must pass, will be violated. The territory is protected by the Natura 2000 programme. However, no such environmental protection issues have been raised concerning the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which is projected to pass through Natura 2000 territory and which may lead to unpredictable ecological consequences. Poland is seeking ways of solving the problem, perhaps by building a considerably more expensive tunnel. However, the people of Augustavas want to live quietly. No one is concerned about the residents suffering from pollution. I have asked the Commission what solution there might be, apart from a prohibition on building the bypass, and what help Poland might get. It was explained to me that in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity, the Commission is not empowered to dictate concrete solutions to Member States nor to prescribe expenditure. Perhaps it is time to review the Commission's powers? Will residents of the Baltic countries be obliged to travel to Europe only by air?"@en1

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