Parliament calls for more action on chemical weapons residue in the Baltic 

Press Releases 
Plenary session 
 
 

MEPs stress the importance of monitoring the current state of dumped chemicals and their degradation, and developing plans for their clean-up and removal.

In a resolution adopted with 660 votes in favour, 8 against and 25 abstentions, the European Parliament expresses its serious concern regarding chemical weapons dumped into the Baltic Sea and points to the grave environmental effects of their ongoing presence and corrosion. MEPs call on the Commission and member states to mobilize all possible funding sources to map the extent of contamination, develop a clean-up plan, and develop preparedness schemes for environmental emergencies.


MEPs advocate using the 2021-2027 Interreg programme “Baltic Sea Region” to continue funding for the CHEMSEA, DAIMON and DAIMON 2 projects, which helped studying the current situation in the Baltic Sea. Finally, MEPs note NATO has already taken action on dumped munitions in the Baltic, and calls for EU actors at national and transnational levels to support these efforts.


Background


Since the end of World War II, at least 50 000 tonnes of hazardous substances (for example, nerve agents and tear gas) have been dumped into the Baltic Sea, where they continue to slowly degrade and pose a danger to humans via contaminated food, as well as the marine ecosystem. Due to its slow rate of water flow, the enclosed Baltic Sea has limited capacity for self-cleaning, and is already one of the most polluted seas in the world.


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