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Text of SOdS presented and read to the Committee on Petitions

The Committee on Petitions

Tuesday 1 April 2008, by sods

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In September 2000, the National Research Center, the most prestigious scientific body of Spain, made a report entitled "Environmental analysis of Wild Fauna potentially affected by the plan cleavage of the M-501". The conversion of that highway road, crossing the Zepa [Special Protection Area of Birds] of holm oak de los Rios Alberche and COFI, also declared LIC [Place of Community Interest], which is part of the Natura 2000 network. In this report, undertaken at the request of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Urbana de la Comunidad de Madrid, made a detailed review of the fauna of one of the richest ecosystems and diverse center of the peninsula. Citemos only two species of conservation priority for the European Community: Imperial eagles and lynx. The report of the scientific institution was conclusive: the impact that duplication of this road will lead is so severe that there are no corrective measures to minimize such impact; construction, and moreover, putting into service of the highway will lead to the ecosystem and in those species and many others, irreversible and irreparable harm.
The importance of preserving this place is not only nation-wide and community: for these species is of global significance.

We have said already, but we emphasize this: for the largest portions of the running, the play is not a mere extension or widening, in a mere packaging: it is a duplication of lanes, is constructing a motorway (and all that implies, primarily on mass urbanization processes in the environment).

The Natura 2000 network is the main instrument for nature conservation in the European Union. What is at stake here, with the proposed doubling of the M-501, is the preservation of one of the most important of the Mediterranean region of the Natura 2000 network. In addition, the Habitats Directive established the need to define certain priority species in order to favor the rapid implementation of measures to preserve them. It is therefore a minor project. We are talking about a very significant assault on the coherence of the Natura 2000 network. Ultimately, we dare say, this is an assault on the possibility of building a comprehensive policy at European level environment.

At stake is the credibility of European institutions. The European Commission is showing weak and erratic in this case, in a way that is beyond our understanding.
Having acknowledged the infringement, and have decided to bring the Kingdom of Spain to the Court of Justice of the European Communities, has surprised everyone with the decision to halt the proceedings and accept a proposal from the Community of Madrid to accomplish something, say, ’Very strange’ as an environmental impact assessment after the event, once the works are well advanced and the layout and size of the project and can not be changed. Even has requested as a condition of that agreement to stop the works, which of course is not only not been paralyzed, but they move faster since the signing of the agreement. Nobody will accept that he owes escape environmental assessments post void useful to the directives of environmental assessment and nature, and also runs counter to the jurisprudence of the Court of Luxembourg.

He had to come a Spanish court, the TSJM [High Court in Madrid], to correct the Commission itself and say that the project is null and void, and to seek, in order, environmental restoration of space in their state original justification for disassembling and road safety that the Comunidad de Madrid argues for conversion into highway M-501.

If, for their environmental impact, this is not a priority case, a case book, which show the highest authority in front of the wrongdoing State, which should not fit any permissiveness once recognized the existence of the infringement, then, What occasion the European Commission reserves its role as guardian of the treaties and vigilant of compliance with environmental laws? How many more times will show indulgent and permissive with the offenders? How much environmental destruction is more willing to allow? Implicitly, it is good by giving a very dangerous strategy to circumvent law enforcement: the policy of fait accompli.

Faced with this situation of disregard for environmental regulation by the Comunidad de Madrid, and neglect of duties by the European Commission, the citizens we can only ask the umbrella of the European Parliament.
You have all been directly elected by European citizens. They should be. And what we have to ask today is not to allow further destruction of Europe’s natural heritage, to launch a forceful dissent in the Madrid region, but also exert their control over the European Commission to apply immediately to the Court of the European Communities precautionary cessation of work, and to continue with this case before this Court in the hope of a sentence exemplifies, to send clear signals that the European institutions have a real desire to protect the environment, clear signs of that violate environmental regulations does not come out free, so that situations like this are not repeated ever again.

Not only is at stake, as we say, the destruction of a unique natural habitat, also, and perhaps primarily, at stake is the ability of European institutions to enforce the laws.