Habitat Oder and Haff


Swinemünde container port: The state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania must exercise its right to object in the Espoo consultation!

You may find below my and Jutta Wegner’s comments regarding the status of the cross-border Espoo consultation on the container port of Swinemünde and the questioning of the state government during the 67th session of the state parliament on 9 November. Jutta Wegner is economic policy spokesperson for the Green Party parliamentary group in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

My statement:

“The result of the Polish parliamentary elections in mid-October is an opportunity for a fresh start in the border region and a cooperation on the container port and the Oder river based on trust and facts. The coalition agreement informally signed last week by the new Polish coalition partners gives reason to hope that environmental protection and the rule of law will take on a higher priority in the future.

A first step in this direction would be the revision of the unlawful environmental decision on the container port by the new Polish government and an independent environmental impact assessment of the project in all its components. So far, only the environmental impact of the specific construction area of the harbour has been examined, and the impact on the Natura 2000 areas caused by other parts of the project, such as the expansion of the fairway and the associated infrastructure, has been ignored. We are already familiar with this salami tactics regarding the works on the Oder river, and it was systematic with the PiS government. In order for the consultation to continue, however, it is also necessary for the state government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to exercise its right of objection. That would be an important political signal.”

Statement of Jutta Wegner:

“The cross-border procedure had not been completed when the Polish Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection (RDOS) published the notice of approval for the container port shortly before the Polish elections, thus violating both the Espoo Convention and the agreements reached during the consultation talks in September 2023.

Following the questioning of the Minister for Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labour on 9 November, it is still unclear which deadlines now apply for an appeal and whether the state government will or has already lodged an appeal against this unlawful environmental decision. I expect full transparency from the state government with regard to the further procedure and call on it to explore all legal measures in the interests of nature and the population of Usedom and Wollin. The government should leave no stone unturned to stop this project in its current dimension.”

Background information on the Świnoujście container port

In the ongoing cross-border environmental impact assessment procedure for the construction and operation of the container port in the outer port of Swinoujscie, the state government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was promised during the consultation talks on 20 September that various documents would be submitted later, such as the plans for the modified access channel. They have not been published to date. In addition, the German side was given a deadline of 20 October to submit the countersigned protocol, without which there is no agreed result of the cross-border procedure. Despite these unresolved questions, the Polish Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection (RDOS) issued the environmental notice to the Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaport Authority on 10 October. The announcement can be found here. The original deadline for objection was 8 November.

On 12 September, I submitted an urgent written question on the alleged EU funding of the fairway to the European Commission. On 6 November, I personally questioned EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius on the issue. In March 2022, I published a study on the environmental impact of the container port together with MEP Helmut Scholz.

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