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Slovenia: Civil society denounces government using anti-COVID 19 law to facilitate investments in environmentally damaging projects

Author: EKO KROG – društvo za naravovarstvo in okoljevarstvo & other organizations, Published on: 5 May 2020

"Statement by non-governmental organizations about the article 42 of the new anti-COVID 19 law", 23 Apr 2020

This is an unofficial translation from Slovenian by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

The government has opened the door widely to investors whose construction projects are endangering the environment and nature by amending the anti-COVID law... The government has approached the exclusion of NGOs imaginatively: it did not take away the right to participate in proceedings altogether, but it set such a high threshold of conditions for participation that almost no organization will be able to reach them - especially since they would have to have been met for the past two years! The government, of course, knows that almost none of the organizations can fulfil the new conditions retroactively...  What does this mean for the environment and nature? Over the next two years, all construction projects will be able to be implemented without proper public scrutiny of the legality and environmental suitability of the projects! Such an arrangement is contrary to the Aarhus Convention, to the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, which provides for the direct application of ratified conventions, and to the EU directives on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment... Why is the government afraid of environmental considerations? Disabling the work of environmental organizations means disabling environmental protection. We are not against development, but we are against development that is damaging to the environment... 

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