Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
The Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC(1) does not prohibit the construction of satellite telecommunication infrastructures in or near Sites of Community Importance (SCI). The compatibility of such a development with the conservation objectives of a site needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. According to Article 6 of that directive, any plan or project likely to have a significant effect on an SCI has to be subject to an appropriate assessment and the competent authorities may agree to this project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the site.
The information available to the Commission does not indicate any potential breach of the above provisions by the Italian authorities. The information provided by the Honourable Member does not have sufficient details on the nature of the impacts and the significance of the damage that this project could cause on the site. The Commission would ask the Honourable Member to provide more details in order to be able to launch an investigation.
With regard to the protection of the general public from potential effects of electromagnetic fields, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union confers the responsibility to the Member States to legislate. Guidance for such legislation can be found in Council Recommendation 1999/519/EEC(2). All Member States have taken measures to implement the Council Recommendation but each has done it in a different way. Italy has put exposure limits in place that are stricter than those coming from the Council recommendation.