Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-048"

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"Madam President, the Via Baltica is most important in terms of increasing cohesion within the European Union. It is important in terms of decreasing the temporal distance separating the Baltic states, namely Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and indirectly also Finland, from the rest of the European Union, by means of access through Poland. The benefits for the Union and for Europe seem to be significant and measurable. I am also aware of the very difficult situation in which the inhabitants of Augustów find themselves, as an increasingly large number of lorries, passenger vehicles and buses continues to pass through the town. Those people cannot continue to live like this. This region of Poland is very rich in natural resources: flora, fauna, lakes, forests and the entire landscape. Any road in this area will have a negative impact on the environment. However, it is simply impossible to avoid this region altogether. The road will give Europeans access to these landscapes and bring them closer, while not building the road will mean that the region will remain an inaccessible fortress. In spite of the fact that the current Polish Government’s stance has sometimes been less than professional, I would like to ask the Commission to take these aspects into account. It is possible and necessary for the Commission and the Polish Government to effectively seek a solution that will be beneficial to the Union, the citizens and bring relief to both the inhabitants of Augustów and the drivers of the vehicles passing through the area, without causing too much damage to the environment. During the mid-1990s, I was the Minister of Transport in Poland. I supported the project then, as I thought that it was necessary. Today, I continue to support the construction of the Via Baltica."@en1

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