The European Court of Justice has confirmed that Poland has agreed not to do any more work on the controversial Augustow by-pass through the Rospuda wetlands until the current legal dispute with the Commission is settled. The Polish government has agreed to look at alternative routes for the by-pass, which was one of the main objections of protesters.
The stretch of the Via Baltica motorway through Poland’s Rospuda valley, which has become a test case for EU environmental safeguards, has once again hit a roadblock.
The Commission has said which trans-European network transport projects will qualify for funding out of the TEN-T budget. It advertised the announcement as a boost for sustainable transport, but there are environmental questions hanging over many of the schemes.
The European Investment Bank has published its first investment priorities specifically on transport projects, but environmental organisations are not convinced that much has changed.
Poland has backed down for the moment on the controversial Augustow bypass, saying it will not resume construction work until its dispute in the European Court of Justice has been resolved.
Editorial by Nina Renshaw
Environmentalists versus security guards (or are they vigilantes?), road safety versus nature, residents versus tourists. These are the either/or ways in which the debate over the proposed Augustow bypass in Poland is being reported and hyped.
The Polish government says building work on the controversial Augustów by-pass will begin again on 1 August.
Delays in approving financing plans for trans-European transport networks for the period 2007-13 have left member states with just two months to apply for funding.
T&E has warned about false or excessive expectations of large transport infrastructure projects. With two rail schemes having opened this month, T&E Bulletin asks writers from the respective countries to see whether the projects are good news or not.
Two legal judgements have suggested that the battle to use EU environmental laws to stop a new motorway ruining Poland’s Rospuda Valley may be working.