In September we shared the story of Călin Dejeu, biologist and economist. He has over 20 years of experience in environmental civil society, environmental NGO and the Ministry of Environment. Dejeu puts a lot of his effort into saving the Jiu River. The river is threatened by construction work. The Jiu river is one of the last free flowing rivers in the Carpathian Mountains. And it is important to keep the river free flowing, instead of dammed.
Please also read: Romania destroys last free flowing river
Lawsuits in vain?
Dejeu and NGO EuroNatur joined forces to open another lawsuit against the construction work a few months ago.
“The Romanian authorities (and any [EU] member state) are not allowed to deteriorate the ecological quality of a river (actually of a water body) not even with a single class on one of the quality elements. The EU law is above any national law. But the problem is the implementation. The only way to stop a member state breaching EU law is to send a complaint to the European Commission, which then to start the infringement procedure. But the Commission seems to have other priorities than dealing with this worst infringement case of EU Directives I ever heard of. ”
says Călin Dejeu.
Although the lawsuit was not won, there was a positive development recently.
Court orders ignored
The Bucharest Court of Appeal permanently cancelled construction permits in the valley. However, despite Court orders, the company Hidroelectrica continues construction works. The company, a state utility, seems to have powerful allies in a seemingly corrupt system. Not only the state building supervision, but also the public prosecutor’s office, the police and the Romanian environmental protection authority seem to support the construction work in the Jiu valley.
Dejeu calls for action, as it is now the time for the prosecutors to intervene and stop the illegal activities. Besides Dejeu and EuroNatur, other organisations as WWF, Coalition Natura 2000, Bankwatch and many volunteers put a lot of their effort in the protection of the Jiu River. Watch the video below to learn more about the whole situation. Read the latest news here.