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Improper Use of European Union Funds Escalated Irrationally

2008-06-04

The Environment Ministry has lately been under strong pressure of groups supporting burning of waste, including the Lithuanian Association of Heating Suppliers, to provide EU funds to their projects without delay. The ministry has received scores of letters of such content from different companies and associations, urging to give up the chain of mechanical biologic processing of waste in order to burn the entire flow of mixed waste.

Minister Artūras Paulauskas and the Environment Ministry’s secretaries have personally met with supporters of the waste burning idea on a number of occasions to state the ministry’s position on the matter: burning of waste can only be a component of the waste management system, however, not the core part of the system. The ministerial stance is based on the government-approved State Strategic Plan of Waste Management, which stipulates waste management priorities. The priorities are as follows: avoidance of waste, reuse, recycling, alternative use and removal.

Under the State Strategic Plan of Waste Management, energy should be generated from the waste left after sorting of utility waste that cannot be recycled.

Consequently, generation of energy by burning is eligible for EU funding. However, applicant projects will have to be in keeping with the provisions of the State Strategic Plan of Waste Management, i.e., the idea should be burning of waste unsuitable for recycling but carrying energy value left after sorting.

The information was provided to the Lithuanian Association of Heating Suppliers. The EU funds of the 2007-2013 period are suitable for use until 2015. The use of funds should be planned in a way to ensure consistent flows of payments from the budgets of the EU and the Republic of Lithuania. Therefore, the statements about allegedly “incomplete or improper use of EU funds” are ungrounded.

We dismiss the press release circulated by the Lithuanian Association of Heating Suppliers yesterday as pressure to the ministry to grant assistance to private projects without proper discussion of all possible economic and ecologic alternatives of waste management.

Public Information Division, Tel. 266 3659

30 May 2008


Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas