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Parliamentary questions
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23 January 2019
Question for written answer E-000346-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Max Andersson (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Review of the decision-making process on mining
 Answer in writing 

The EU’s Habitats and Water Framework Directives were major steps forward in the efforts to bring about sustainable development. Sweden has struggled to implement that legislation when it comes to granting authorisation for mining activities, but lately the legislation has started to make a difference with regard to the environment.

There are strong forces in Sweden seeking to undermine environmental protection in the areas of mining and quarrying. One of their arguments has been that exploitation that is linked to a specific site, e.g. a mine, should be dealt with differently during the decision-making process.

Mining and the quarrying of lime, for example, can have a major impact on biodiversity, groundwater, air pollution and human health. I believe, therefore, that it is absolutely essential that environmental rules are upheld in this area too, regardless of whether or not the activity is linked to a specific site.

I was concerned, then, when Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič stated, during a recent visit to Malmö in Sweden, that the Commission was considering a review of the decision-making process for site-specific operations such as mines, including with regard to the Habitats and Water Framework Directives.

Is it correct that the Commission is considering reviewing the decision-making process for site-specific operations such as mines?

If so, who initiated the review, and when and why did this occur?

Are the Habitats and Water Framework Directives being discussed as part of the review?

Original language of question: SV 
Last updated: 11 February 2019Legal notice