EC seeks urgent talks with Poland on Vistula Spit

In a letter sent to Poland’s maritime ministry, the European Commission (EC) asked Warsaw for details regarding the Vistula Spit project and wants an urgent meeting with representatives of the project.

Work recently began in north-east Poland with a mass logging of trees, and a complaint was made to the European Commission (EC) that relevant environmental permits were not secured.

In the letter, the EC states that the matter is urgent and proposes expert-level discussions. The Commission wants a report on the mass felling of trees, in addition to whether the excavation will have, as argued by the Polish authorities, a slight impact on the protected Natura 2000 site − a network of nature protection areas in the territory of the European Union.

The EC also asks for details regarding the construction of an artificial island on the Vistula Lagoon.

Recently, officials from the Commission said that it was a priority for Brussels and that it had doubts about the entire investment, reiterating that they were not convinced by the explanation from Warsaw sent in the mid-month response.

Poland argues that socio-economic and security factors mean that the investment is necessary.

According to Poland’s maritime ministry, the Vistula Spit canal is a key investment project that it hopes will revive the economy of northeastern parts of the country as well as ensure security and defence in the region by opening the Vistula Lagoon to the Baltic Sea and other existing waterways.

The shipping channel through the Vistula Spit will be 1,300-metre long and five-metre deep, making the port of Elbląg accessible to larger cargo vessels.