Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-238"

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"Mr President, first of all I should like to clarify that the responsibility for implementing Community law correctly lies primarily with the Member States. The Commission has no powers under the Treaty to substitute Member States’ authorities in their planning activities and in their decisions, for example on whether or not to construct waste-disposal installations and where those installations will be. The role of the Commission is that of monitoring the application of Community law. Where this is not satisfactory, as in the current case, the Commission can launch infringement procedures, but the solutions must always be found and put in place by the Member States. We are concerned that the waste situation in Campania is worsening, despite the actions taken by the Italian authorities in 2007. It is essential that the Italian authorities, besides taking immediate measures to tackle the current crisis, intensify their efforts for putting in place a structure enabling the Campania region to ensure long-term sustainable waste management that is fully in line with European waste legislation. I am convinced that, this time, crisis management must lead to a real turnaround in waste management policy in order to avoid further risks to human health and the environment. Therefore, any action to be taken for the future will have to lead to an effectively implemented strategy focusing not only on establishing a sufficient network of waste-treatment facilities. It is of equal importance to provide the necessary structures for separate waste collection, recycling and the avoidance of waste, fully respecting the waste hierarchy within which the dumping of waste remains the least-desired option. Any new waste-management plan in that sense must not remain on paper, as we have seen in the past, but needs to be strictly implemented. The present waste disaster could be taken as an opportunity to demonstrate Italy’s capacity of turning the Campania region into a best practice example of proper waste management, and other Italian regions, such as the area of Milan, have shown that this is possible. The Commission, as the guardian of the Treaty, will continue the infringement procedure against Italy – started in June 2007 – for a breach of Community waste legislation. It is ready to take further legal steps, should the current breaches of Community legislation continue, using all available measures under the Treaty, including the possibility of imposing fines under Article 220 of the Treaty. Apart from this, however, my services are ready to assist Italy in any manner deemed necessary and helpful for finding and implementing a long-term sustainable solution to the current waste-management problem."@en1

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