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Parliamentary questions
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19 November 2013
Question for written answer E-013148-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Additional clarification regarding the Epanomi Lagoon restoration programme
 Answer in writing 

The Commission stated in its reply to my question (E-008076/2013) concerning the Life09 Accolagoons programme (NAT/GR/000343) for Epanomi Lagoon (Natura 2000 network, SPA GR1220011 and SAC GR1220012) that ‘the performance of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), foreseen in action A7, was completed in accordance with national legislation and submitted by the Region of Central Macedonia (RCM) to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change for approval’. That is not true. The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change recently returned the Environmental Impacts Study (EIS)(1) on the grounds that, according to the national legislation transposing Directive 2001/42/EC(2), action A7 is directly linked to the management and protection of Natura 2000 areas and the project therefore needed to follow the procedure in Law 1650/1986.(3) This procedure also needs to be followed for actions A2, A3 and A5. Therefore, not only has no decision been adopted approving the EIS carried out in relation to the SEA, as required under Article 6(1), no public consultation procedure has been held, as required under Article 7(4) and, moreover, actions A2, A3, A5 and A7 have been completed in breach of European and national legislation. Finally, the permit issued by the Region of Central Macedonia for works in the priority natural habitat of Community interest does not take account of any EIS approval whatsoever and is not, by any stretch of the imagination, fully harmonised with the ‘A’ series of actions and approval thereof based on the legislation, because no such approvals exist. Furthermore, the Commission states in its reply that ‘the works proposed under action C2 are in line with the proposals of the Management Study on the area prepared in 2002 by HOS on behalf of Ellinika Touristika Akinita SA’. However, precisely the opposite is stated on pages 31 and 91 of the study.(4)

In view of the above, will the Commission say:
1. Does it insist that all legal procedures were complied with, as described and financed by the EU?
2. What substantiated assurances can it give that interventions under action C2 will not result in this particular priority natural habitat being drained and completely altered, in breach of Directives 92/43/EEC and 2009/147/EEC?

(1)No YPECHODE/EYPE/Section B 168820 of 16 October 2013.
(2)No YPECHODE/EYPE/oik.107017/06 (Government Gazette II/1225/2006) http://goo/gl/dD1JBA
(3)Article 18(5) of Law 1650/1986 on environmental protection (Government Gazette I/160/1986) http://goo.gl/SPCFkP Article 15(1c) of Law 2742/1999 on land use planning and sustainable development and other provisions (Government Gazette I/207/1999) http://goo.gl/wG7YuU Article 4(5) of Law 3937/2011 on biodiversity and other provisions (Government Gazette I/60/2011) http://goo/gl/0gdyF1
(4)According to the Management Study for Epanomi Lagoon (2002), drainage ditches excavated in the 1950s altered the hydrological balance of the area (p. 31). This caused a change in the distribution and composition of plant growth, which in turn affected the habitats of the fauna and bird life (p. 91).

Original language of question: ELOJ C 237, 22/07/2014
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