Bulgaria Gets 4 Warnings from EC over Environmental Violations

Bulgaria in EU | October 8, 2009, Thursday // 13:45|  views

Swans along Bulgaria's Black Sea coast; the bird on the right has died most likely because of the pollution of a nearby resort construction site. Photo by BGNES

The European Commission has sent 4 written warnings to Bulgaria over failures in environmental protection.

Three of the warnings are regarding violations in protected areas, and the fourth one refers to the acting environmental legislation in Bulgaria, the BNR reported.

The three protected zones whose status Bulgaria has failed to uphold are a section of the Pirin Mountain where a large ski center has been built, the Tsarevo Municipality where a large protected zone along Bulgaria’s southernmost Black Sea coast is under threat, and the region of the Vaya River in the Emine-Irakli protected zone where resort construction is also going on.

The fourth warning concerns the lack of full-fledged compliance of Bulgaria’s environmental legislation with the Commission’s requirements.

The EC has pointed out that even though Bulgaria comprises only 2,5% of EU’s territory, almost 70% of EU’s protected species and about 40% of EU’s protected habitats are located on Bulgaria’s territory, and that this extraordinary biodiversity has to be protected.

"Despite covering only 2,5% of the EU's total area, Bulgaria is home to almost 70% of Europe's protected bird species, and some 40% of its protected habitats. This extraordinary biodiversity must be protected, because legal protection is the only sure way to safeguard future economic and social well-being. I expect Bulgaria to bring its legislation into line with European requirements, and above all to ensure that it is properly implemented in practice, on the ground.",” the EU Commissioner for Environment, Stavros Dimas is quoted as saying.

Bulgaria has 2 months to respond to EC’s written warnings. If Bulgaria fails to reply or provides an unsatisfactory answer, the Commission may start a suit against it in the Court of European Communities in Luxembourg.

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Tags: European Commission, Stavros Dimas, EU Commissioner for Environment, environment, Irakli, Emine, Pirin, Pirin National Park, Tsarevo, Black Sea, birds, legislation


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