Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-12-14-Speech-1-246-000"

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"Madam President, over the last week excessive levels of rainfall – courtesy of Storm Desmond, as referred to by my colleague Mrs Ward – have also resulted in widespread flooding in Ireland. Significant damage has been done to homes, to businesses and to farmlands. While action needs to be taken at national level, there is also a European dimension. First of all we have to assess the damage to see if there is a basis for applying the Solidarity Fund. Secondly, we need to make better use of regional funds. Indeed, former Commissioner Hahn confirmed to me over three years ago that regional funds could be used for the purpose of putting flood defences in place. Thirdly, and perhaps most urgently, is the following: time and time again we have been told in Ireland that we cannot dredge or drain any rivers, as European legislation – the Habitats Directive – will prevent it. I do not believe that this directive was ever intended to stop reasonable, workable and effective flood mitigation measures. We need to get our act together in Ireland and have one body in place overseeing, managing the issue, doing what needs to be done and doing what works."@en1

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