During its most recent meeting in Brussels from September 12th-13th, 2018, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) tabled a list of recommendations on topics such as environment, transport, energy, and energy efficiency – which were presented to the EU stakeholders, who attended the meeting on the second day.
The group on transport, on the other hand, discussed the state of play on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) in each country, as well as the Road Safety Action Plan, which was addressed in the Transport Panel on September 18th – producing a comprehensive list of recommendations including the following text on E40 inland waterway:
The E40 Waterway project poses a threat of secondary radioactive contamination to the environment– as a result of activities in territories contaminated by radioactive isotopes after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster (1986). The implementation of the project will have a significant impact on protected areas, including flora and fauna, valuable wetlands, landscapes, forest, and agricultural land. The construction and operation of the channel will lead to the loss of habitat and stopover sites for migratory birds. For these reasons, the project should be stopped and other options considered.
Veronika Liskova, International Relations Officer at the European Commission DG MOVE and Antonio Nunez, Senior Transport Specialist at the World Bank were receptive of the group’s recommendations. Nunez added that the role of civil society is to guide decision-makers – it does not only extend to road safety but also issues such as decarbonization and improvement of infrastructure.
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a policy initiative that aims to bring the six Eastern neighbors – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine – closer to the EU. The Civil Society Forum’s mission is to ensure effective participation of civil societies in the process of planning, monitoring and implementation of the Eastern Partnership policy in constructive dialogue with the EU.