Country did not block important Polish investment. German politician: strategic mistake

German MP Hannah Neumann criticizes the authorities of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for not opposing the construction of a container port in Świnoujście.

Poland is building a deepwater container terminal in Świnoujście. In July last year, the Seaport Authority of Szczecin and Świnoujście signed a provisional lease agreement with a Belgian-Qatari consortium for land located in the outer port of Świnoujście. The Ministry of Infrastructure emphasizes that the investment will secure the region of Central and Southern Europe in terms of transshipment, and this is an “extraordinary challenge and opportunity” for Poland.

However, the project is causing serious controversy in Germany. According to local media, construction must be stopped for fear of environmental damage. The terminal should be accessible to deep-sea freight ships and become an important transshipment point in the Baltic Sea. If there are any environmental effects, this mainly applies to the Natura 2000 areas on the Polish side of the border.

MEP against the investment

However, the authorities of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern have not taken legal action against the construction of the Polish terminal in Świnoujście. After the exchange of information with the Polish side in September last year, local politicians largely received answers to their questions and comments.

Nevertheless, not all politicians in Germany support the development of Polish river navigation. MEP Hannah Neumann believes that Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s lack of opposition in the ongoing cross-border procedures is a “strategic mistake”.

The MEP believes that state authorities should demand an “independent assessment” of the environmental impact of the project in all its elements. So far, only the environmental effects for the specific port construction area have been investigated. Impact assessment of other related parts of the project, such as the construction of the breakwater, the expansion of the waterway and associated infrastructure, were omitted in the first phase. According to the politician, it was a deliberate action by the previous Polish government.

Criticism of PiS

Neumann also accuses that critical voices about the construction of the port in Świnoujście were suppressed during the United Right rule. However, now, after the change of government, this is about to change.

“The new Polish government has made it clear from the start that it will again pay more attention to the protection of the environment and Europe’s Natura 2000 areas than the previous PiS government. This openness on the Polish side would provide the opportunity to reintroduce the issue of the container terminal in Świnoujście into German-German relations. Polish countries based on trust and above all facts,” Neumann writes on his website.

Source: Do Rzeczy