Is the weir on the Elbe at Decin in the public interest? Illegal government involvement in the decision making of the authorities

23.1.2019 - DECIN
The sediment loads of the Elbe are most valuable in terms of the occurrence of protected species
Petr Zewlakk Vrabec

The government of Andrej Babiš (ANO party) wants to build a weir on the Elbe at any price. Last year, Babiš declared the Czech Republic as being in public interest in his resolution. An unnecessary construction that will destroy the valuable natural environment of the Elbe Valley and cost at least 5 billion crowns has been assessed by the government, instead of construction authorities and nature conservation authorities over protests by experts. The Minister of Environment, Richard Brabec, has recently joined them. According to the Czech Union for Nature Conservation, Teplice-FERGUNNA and Arnika, it is not the responsibility of the government to evaluate whether the particular building plans are more important than the protection of nature. Therefore, they have asked the court to cancel the government resolution.

"The government resolution about the construction of the weir as a public interest should become a binding basis for decision-making by building authorities and nature conservation authorities. They will follow it in a similar way to the spatial plan. The government has unlawfully announced a specific intention to build," points out lawyer Petr Svoboda.

"The Bohemian Switzerland National Park is built against the Weir at Decin, the Ministry of the Environment, and a number of experts. Still, the government wants to decide the construction of the valid legislation." The government has no right to intervene in that decision-making of the authorities. It interferes with the democratic processes and also with the taxpayers' money," explains George Teplice from Rous-FERGUNNA.

The water level of the Elbe has been extremely low for the last five years, a result of the drought and for the bridge of the year on the Czech and German sides. The Minister of Transport, Dan Ťok, who has recently joined the discussion, has proposed the European Protection of Nature in the Elbe Valley. However, the planned weir on the Elbe at Decin will not secure the navigability of the river and the result will be more than 5 billion crowns and the destruction of the valuable natural environment.

"The government is trying to create the impression that the German side also desires the weir. The truth is that Germany completely rejects the construction of other weirs or navigation stages for ecological and economic reasons. The weir will destroy rare natural treasures; the big boats will not be able to sail on the Elbe," concludes Nikol Krejčová from Arnika.

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