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EIA/IC/CI/5 United Kingdom

Information on matters considered by the Committee

Committee initiative on Serbia (EIA/IC/CI/6)

At its thirty-first session (2-4 September 2014), the Committee began its consideration of the the information received on 2 April 2014 from the NGO Bankwatch Romania regarding two activities at the Kostolac lignite power plant in north-east Serbia, by the River Danube, close to the border with Romania (EIA/IC/INFO/14): (a) the planned extension of the open-pit mine, and (b) the planned construction of a new power unit. It asked the Chair to invite the Government of Serbia to clarify certain issues regarding the conduct of transboundary procedures under the Convention regarding the activities; and to invite the NGO to provide further clarification on certain aspects of the information provided.

The Committee further considered the information received at its thirty-second session (9-11 December 2014) and decided to seek further clarification from the Government of Serbia. Questions were also addressed to the Government of Romania regarding the EIA transboundary procedure. During that session, the Committee also considered that the information provided raised issues of compliance with the Protocol on SEA.

At its thirty-third session (17-19 March 2015), the Committe considered the information received and decided to begin a Committee initiative on the issues raised regarding compliance with the Convention further to paragraph 6 of the Committee's structure and functions. It also agreed to decide at its next (thirty-fourth) session on whether it would invite Serbia, in line with paragraph 9 of the Committee’s structure and functions, to participate in the discussion and to present information and opinions on the matter under consideration at the Committee’s thirty-fifth (Geneva,15–17 March 2016) or thirty-sixth (Geneva,5–7 September 2016) session.

At its thirty-fourth session the Committee took note of the information dated 20 November 2015 from Serbia that no further information on the activity in question was available because of pending domestic administrative remedies questioning the validity of the final decision vis-à-vis the compliance of Serbia with the Espoo Convention, and decided to resume its deliberations at the thirty-fifth session.

At its thirty-fifth session the Committee agreed that the planned extension of the open pit mine was an activity listed in appendix I to the Convention and that the likelihood of a significant adverse transboundary impact could not be excluded. It requested further information from Serbia about both activities.

At its thirty-sixth session, the Committee took note of letter from Serbia of 20 June 2016 and was satisfied with the information and responses to its questions that it contained. Regarding the lignite open-pit mine, the Committee noted that Serbia had concluded on the basis of a domestic EIA that the activity was not likely to cause adverse transboundary impacts and that consequently the application of the Convention had not been considered necessary. In its response, Serbia also informed the Committee that on 15 July it had notified Romania with respect to the planned construction of the new power unit. Consequently, the Committee agreed that there was no need for it to pursue the Committee initiative, considering that Serbia had in the meantime initiated a transboundary procedure in accordance with the Convention with respect to the construction of the new power unit. The Committee requested the Vice-Chair to write to Serbia to inform it of the outcomes of its deliberations.

Report of the thirty-first session of the Implementation Committee
(ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2014/4) 

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Report of the thirty-second session of the Implementation Committee
(ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2014/6)
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Report of the thirty-third session of the Implementation Committee
(ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2015/2)
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Report of the thirty-fourth session of the Implementation Committee
(ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2015/4)
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Report of the thirty-fifth session of the Implementation Committee
(ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2016/2)
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Report of the thirty-sixth session of the Implementation Committee
(ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2016/4)
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Report of the activities of the Implementation Committee to the Meeting of the Parties on its sixth session (ECE/MP.EIA/2017/4−ECE/MP.EIA/SEA/2017/4) ENGFRERUS