Use of protected areas for public utility works

Although Romania risks a new infringement procedure from the Commission, the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, in its parliamentary role, has passed a draft law that allows the definitive setting-aside and use of land in protected areas for public utility projects.

The draft law provides as follows: ‘The definitive setting-aside and temporary occupation of national forestry land required for the construction, development, maintenance and modernisation of public utility systems for the purpose of ensuring the health and safety of people and animals, is also permitted for areas within strict protection zones, integral protection zones and sustainable conservation zones in protected natural areas, nature reserves, and for areas listed in the national catalogue of virgin and almost virgin forests in Romania, where they meet the criteria and indicators for inclusion’.

The obligation to observe EC law and assess the environmental impact on Nature 2000 sites has also been introduced.

To what extent does the Commission consider that this law observes EU legislation?

How does the Commission view the impact of this law on protected areas?