EC Questions Bulgaria over Protected Area Construction

Environment | February 12, 2014, Wednesday // 15:46|  views

The European Commission has requested a swift answer from the Bulgarian cabinet regarding a development plan that would liberalize construction in the Strandzha Nature Park.

The EC sent the letter last Friday, after which the revitalized general development plan was frozen by the Bulgarian cabinet once more, reports Dnevnik.bg.

Wednesday the news site writes that although the Bulgarian government has not revealed the nature of the message, EC sources have said that it is requesting an extremely swift answer, setting the deadline for March, instead of the usual 10 weeks.

The letter has been sent under the EU Pilot project which aims to better communication between the Commission and member states regarding possible infringement of EU law.

Earlier in 2014, a panel of Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court overturned a prior decision of the court which had declared the new general development plan for the Tsarevo municipality illegal on grounds of lacking an environmental impact assessment.

The court's latest decision provoked outrage among environmentalists and ordinary citizens, who have since held a number of rallies in protests.

Tuesday some 2000 people walked in the streets of Bulgarian capital Sofia, with rallies assembling in 9 other cities.

The town of Tsarevo is located in the extreme south of Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, with a large part of the municipality falling within the Strandzha Nature Park - the largest protected area in Bulgaria.

The park harbors unique sea and low mountain landscapes and habitats, a host of endemic plant and animal species, as well as rich cultural heritage.

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Tags: Strandzha, protected area, EU, EC, European Commission, protest, environmentalists, construction, Tsarevo, Black Sea, mountain

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