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Potocnik: Responsibility to apply EU law largely rests with Romania gov't on Rosia Montana


The European Commission must fulfill the role incumbent upon it, of a guardian of the treaties, but the responsibility for applying the European legislation largely rests with the Government of Romania, European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potocnik said here on Monday.

When asked about the Commission's stand on draft legislation relating a gold mining project in Rosia Montana (western Romania), that the Romanian Government approved and sent Parliament for debate, the commissioner said on the sidelines of a news conference given in Brussels that the European Union executive had received the clarification it had asked from the Romanian authorities.

'We receive a lot of complaints over this period. We will analyse them with great attention. The EU legislation is very strict and we will take full care that the legislation is fully implemented. We must carefully analyse the complaints having been sent us, which represent the concerns of the Euro-deputies and of the citizens. We must fulfill our role, of a guardian of the treaties, but I underline that the responsibility for applying the European legislation largely rests with the Government of Romania,' Potocnik said.

The environment commissioner received a letter last week from Erik Banki, FIDESZ, Laszlo Tokes, an independent affiliated to the EPP and Csaba Sogor, the UDMR, who were asking for 'information about the Commission's action plans in response to the developments in Romania, which plans to accelerate the authorization of a mining project that will use the cyanide-based technology, that poses a great risk to the environment'.

In response, Potocnik's spokesperson told Agerpres last week that 'up until now, there has not been a violation of the EU law, but we are watching this project closely'.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced on Monday that the draft law adopted by his Government two weeks earlier in order to accelerate the beginning of extraction 'will be rejected' by the Parliament. 'There is a parliamentary majority against this draft law, it will be rejected', Ponta said at the end of a Parliament sitting.

The Romanian Senate on Monday passed a 91 to 18 vote and one abstention for carrying out an urgent procedure to debate and adopt the draft law on the exploitation of the Rosia Montana gold and silver ores.