EC may stop the Vistula Spit digging

The European Commission has asked Poland for an analysis of the environmental consequences of digging the Baltic Sea canal.

The Polish Ministry of Maritime Economy and Transport on Inland Waterways (MGMiŻŚ) has received a letter from the European Commission asking for a report on the impact that the digging of the canal will have on the environment. The EC wants to know on what basis the Regional Director for Environmental Protection in Olsztyn has made the decision allowing for realisation of the investment.

Kaczyński: Vistula Spit canal a ‘demonstration of sovereignty’

Poland will begin digging the Baltic Sea canal through the Vistula Spit in the northeast of the country during the ongoing local government...

see more

“We are preparing our response to the European Commission. We hope that its concerns are not a result of the request that the Russian minister of agriculture has sent to EC some time ago. The EC referred in its letter to the agreement that has been made by previous Polish government to consult this project with Brussels,” said minister Marek Gróbarczyk, the head of the MGMIŻŚ.

Russian intervention

In september 2018 Russia asked the EU "to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the possible consequences and to make an informed decision regarding the Vistula Spit" and, if necessary, for "securing and implementing a series of measures to compensate for damage to biological resources and their habitats."

In minister Gróbarczyk’s opinion it was an attempt to block the investment. "It is strange that environmental arguments are nowadays used by a country for which ecology has never been a priority. I consider this to be an attempt to block the construction of the canal by the Vistula Spit," he commented.

PM confirms plans to dig canal across Vistula Spit

The Polish Prime Minister confirmed during a meeting with voters in Elbląg, northern Poland, that the government is planning to dig a canal across...

see more

Now the EC has asked for all the works to be stopped until any doubts are resolved.

Strategic project

The digging of a navigable shipping channel through the Vistula Spit is one of the most important challenges for the development of north-eastern Poland. The port located in Elbląg currently depends on good relations with the Russian Federation. The canal linking this lagoon with the Baltic Sea is the only guarantee of the political and economical stability of the strategically important Polish port.

The planned canal will be around 1,300m long and 5m deep and will be navigable by ships up to 100m long and 20m wide. The PLN 880 mln (EUR 205 mln) investment will be financed from state budget, not from the EU.

The tender for its digging has been called on December 2018 and the works are due to start in few months. The canal should be ready in 2022.