WILL BRUSSELS ASK SLOVAK GOVERNMENT TO WITHDRAW FROM THE URANIUM MEMORANDUM ?
(A news release of ZO SZOPK Košice 2013 related to citizens' appeal to the European Parliament discussed by the PETI Committee on 18-Apr-2016)
What is more important - the interest of mining companies to mine or the affected citizens' right to live in an undisturbed environment?
The threat of uranium mining and processing in the Košice-Jahodná area was discussed on Monday 18 April 2016 in Brussels by the Petitions (PETI) Committee of the European Parliament. The discussion was initiated by a petition of the citizens of Košice that had been submitted already in 2013. In the petition the citizens had asked the European Union representatives for help and support in their fight against uranium mining close to their homes.
One of the conclusions of the above-mentioned discussion of the EP PETI Committee (based on the proposal of chairman Pál Csáky) should be a letter, in which the Committee will ask the government of the Slovak republic to meet the requirements of the affected citizens. To these requirements, which were communicated at the PETI Committee meeting by Mr. Igor Jacák, a representative of the signatories, belongs also the requirement for cancellation of the Memorandum of understanding, that had been signed with a uranium company in 2012 by former economy minister T. Malatinský. After the appeals for the Memorandum to be cancelled that were addressed to several Malatinský's minister-successors as well as to prime minister R. Fico by the Košice City Council and the Košice Region Council, the European Parliament PETI committee will be the first important international institution also asking the government to do so. All the previous appeals have been ignored by the government - will the government dare ignoring the European Parliament, too?
Unfortunately, the PETI Committee meeting has also revealed several problems that citizens of Slovakia (as well as citizens of other EU member states) have to face when asking for help and support from European institutions. It took more than 3 years(!) from the date the petition had been submitted until it was discussed in the committee. Besides, after discussing the petition, the PETI committee has closed it arguing that "no mining has started yet" and recommending to the petitioners that "in case anything changes, you can immediately file a new petition". We had expected that the petition would be left open and that based on upcoming developments, necessary measures would be gradually taking place. Finally, we were disappointed that the representative of the European Commission José Rizo-Martin of DG Environment didn't support the rights of the affected citizens but merely stated that "The European Commission can't do anything as no breach of European legislation has been identified so far."
We are sorry that out of 13 MEPs representing the Slovak republic in the European Parliament only B. Škripek (if not counting P. Csáky who was chairing the meeting and thus had to be present anyway) attended the PETI Committee discussion on such an important topic. From the rest of the Slovak MEPs, those who expressed their interest in the problem were in particular I. Štefanec and (to a lesser extent) also J. Nagy and M. Smolková. The remaining 8 MEPs haven't commented yet on the problem at all...
- Open letter to the new minister of environment L. Solymos: https://uranium-kosice.webnode.sk/news/open-letter-to-the-new-minister-of-environment-l-solymos/
- Appeal to the new minister of economy P. Žiga: https://uranium-kosice.webnode.sk/news/appeal-minister-of-economy/