Expert evaluations on hydrotechnical projects receiving EIB loans, drawn up on the instructions of a Polish environmental organisation, have revealed major irregularities and the infringement of Community law.
In 2001, the EIB granted the Polish Government a loan for the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed during flooding and for the strengthening of flood defences in the Małopolska region. However, during the reconstruction work serious and irreparable damage was inflicted on river and forest fauna. The hydrotechnical work was carried out using old techniques, irreversibly upsetting the balance of river and forest ecosystems. As a result of this work, a sharp decline was noted in 16 bird species covered by the 1979 Birds Directive as part of the Natura 2000 network. The removal of backwaters and islands in order to regulate the river flow has resulted in the disappearance of habitats on many rivers.
On what basis does the EIB award loans in the EU? Why are projects approved by the EIB not carried out in line with the EU's environmental protection policy? What control measures does the Commission intend to take with regard to the above situation?