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Parliamentary questions
6 March 2014
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Ruža Tomašić (ECR)

 Subject:  Impact of the Upper Horizons project on the ecosystem of the river Neretva and the local economy

The construction of three hydroelectric power plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Dabar, Nevesinje and Bileća power plants) as part of the Upper Horizons project implies drastic regulation of international waterways which, according to experts, could dry up the lower course of the river Neretva, which runs through Croatia.

Water flowing through underground karst channels of smaller rivers that naturally flows into the Neretva and then on into the sea would be rerouted to the Trebišnjica drainage area and further to the newly built reservoirs. The Neretva would thereby lose much of its hydropower potential, and increasing salinity would prevent the growing of fruit and vegetables in the Neretva valley south of Čapljina, which would represent a major blow to the local economy.

Under the Berlin Rules on Water Resources (Chapter III), Articles 10 and 11 clearly demonstrate that Croatia has a right to participate in the management of the Neretva basin, and they also oblige states to manage international river basins in good faith, which is not the case here.

Is the Commission is aware of this case and will it defend the right of Member States to participate in the management of river basins shared with third countries? Will it continue its efforts to resolve outstanding issues of this kind with neighbouring countries, specifically, in this case, with Bosnia and Herzegovina, as they negotiate for EU membership?

Original language of question: HROJ C 355, 08/10/2014
Last updated: 25 March 2014Legal notice