Nova vlada omejuje pravice okoljskih skupin

Nova vlada omejuje pravice okoljskih skupin

Brankica Petković je za spletni portal Liberties prispevala članek o spremembah na področju okoljevarstvene zakonodaje in zaostritvi pogojev za nevladne organizacije, ki delujejo v javnem interesu na področju ohranjanja narave.

“The new government has restricted access to public participation and justice for environmental non-governmental organisations.

Environmentalists and nature protectionists are describing the recent developments in Slovenia, where the new government has restricted access to public participation and justice for environmental non-governmental organisations, as “a pogrom” and “a declaration of war on the protection of nature and environment” in Slovenia.

In late April 2020, the government included in its coronavirus crisis stimulus package the provisions aimed at deregulation of construction legislation and speeding up of infrastructure investments during the economic recovery. Among the provisions that simplify the procedure for the construction permit are stiffer conditions introduced for environmental NGOs that want to participate in the permitting procedures. According to the Slovenian Press Agency, such solutions allow to investors to override the public benefit of preserving the nature and environment with other public benefits.

The provisions introduce new conditions for participation of the environmental NGOs organised as associations in the procedures, requiring from them to have at least 50 active members, which NGOs prove with regularly paid membership fees and participation at general assemblies. Environmental organisations that have the status of institute need to have at least three fully employed staff with university education in the field, while institutions or foundations need to have at least EUR 10,000 in assets. The conditions for all three legal forms of environmental organisations apply retrospectively, for two years back.

In Slovenia, non-governmental organisations that obtain the status of acting in the public interest in the field off environmental protection can be, according to Environmental Protection Act, parties in the procedures and can go to court and challenge the decisions in environmental matters. So far, several major investments, which would severely affect the environment, have been successfully challenged by environmental organisations in the courts, within the administrative procedure for obtaining an environmental permit. Some of them have fewer than 50 members. Others do have sufficient number of members to meet the new criteria but did not collect the membership fee as it is not mandatory according to the rules for the sector regulation, and they don’t have or don’t want to disclose their presence lists from their general assemblies.”

Članek v celoti.