marți, 12 ianuarie 2010

MPs ask PM to explain Natura 2000 claims

Labour and left-wing green MPs have called on prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende to explain claims that he had asked European Commission chairman Manuel Barroso to relax European rules on biodiversity, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

On Saturday the paper published details of correspondence from Balkenende to Barroso in which he called for European rules on protecting Europe's best wildlife areas to be changed.

The measures, known collectively as Natura 2000, were 'missing the target' and threatened to restrict economic activity because of the strict way they are applied, Balkenende wrote.

'Natura 2000 fails to strike a balance between ecological value, economic interests and other uses,' Balkenende wrote.

In his reply, Barroso rejected all Balkenende's claims. 'Natura 2000 does not threaten the balance between economic and natural development,' the president wrote.

Labour MP Diederik Samsom said he is shocked by Balkenende's letter. It is an 'intervention to undermine nature protection', he told the paper.


Barosso Brief

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