Lithuania leading in use of Cohesion Fund support for environmental projects2009-10-27
Lithuania leading in use of Cohesion Fund support for environmental projects
At a meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Cohesion Fund programme for 2004–2006 in Vilnius, Judit Torokne-Rozsa, a European Commission representative, said that Lithuania currently ranked first in terms of the pace of use of Cohesion Fund support allocated for the implementation of environmental projects within the European Union. Comprised of representatives of the responsible authorities of Lithuania and the European Commission, the committee gives an overview of Lithuania’s progress in using Cohesion Fund support twice a year.
The Cohesion Fund finances environmental and transport infrastructure development projects. Its support for 2000-2006 has been allocated for 29 Lithuanian environmental sector projects. Some LTL 1.4 billion has been allocated for their implementation. These funds will have to be used by 31 December 2010.
According to Gediminas Kazlauskas, the Minister of Environment, the current situation give hope that all of the EU support allocated for Lithuania’s environmental protection will be used on time. Considerable progress has been observed in the implementation of environmental projects in Lithuania as compared to previous years. It was also stated at the meeting of the Cohesion Fund Monitoring Committee.
Implementation of ten regional municipal waste management projects as well as a hazardous waste management project within the framework of development of a modern waste management system will soon be completed. These projects have already been accomplished in Šiauliai and Alytus regions, with over 95% of the projects implemented in Telšiai and Utena regions and over 70% completed in the remaining regions. All 11 new modern regional landfills meeting EU requirements have already been built and have become operational.
Five of 16 water management sector projects financed from the EU Cohesion Fund have already been accomplished. Three more projects have been completed, but shortcomings established in them arte currently being eliminated. Almost 90% of water management projects in middle and lower Nemunas river basins and the Klaipėda region, which embrace 22 municipalities, have already been implemented. Although decisions to allocate EU Cohesion Fund support for upper Nemunas, Neris and Venta-Lielupė river basin projects embracing 26 municipalities were adopted as late as in 2005–2006, some 60% of them have already been implemented. According to data provided by the Environmental Project Management Agency of the Ministry of Environment, over 900 km of new wastewater and water supply networks were built, more than 200 km were reconstructed and 25 wastewater treatment plants were build or modernised in Lithuanian cities and towns by October this year.
Public Relations Division, tel. 266 3660
27 October 2009