Answer to Written Question: Another incinerator on the Azores would undermine EU targets

(Source: European Parliament)

EN

E-001079/2021

Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius

on behalf of the European Commission

(1.6.2021)

The Commission has recently received the complaint referred to by the Honourable Members, which is currently under assessment by its services. The Waste Framework Directive[1] applies without any specific derogation to the Azores, which is an outermost region of the European Union. This Directive lays down a waste hierarchy as well as an obligation on the Member States to ensure that ambitious preparing for reuse and recycling targets are met.

As regards the project itself, it should be pointed out that the incinerator is only one of the elements of a major project, for which the Commission approved the contribution of the Cohesion Fund in 2020 through the programme “Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources”[2]. The incinerator will only recover energy from the residual solid urban waste that cannot be reused or recycled, thereby not undermining the EU targets on reuse and recycling. The Commission appraised the major project based on the information set out in Article 101 of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013[3] and it concluded that the EU financial support for this project was justified.

In this context, on the basis of the information currently at its disposal, the Commission does not see the grounds to withdraw the EU funding for this project. If new elements leading to a different assessment were to appear, the Commission would take the necessary measures.


[1] Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste and repealing certain Directives, OJ L 312, 22.11.2008, p. 3–30, amended by Directive (EU) 2018/851 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018, OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 109–140.

[2] Commission Implementing Decision, of 31.7.2020, approving the financial contribution to the major project “Integrated System for treatment, recovery and final destination of solid urban waste on the Island of São Miguel”, selected as part of the operational programme “Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources” (POSEUR) in Portugal (C(2020) 5357 final).

[3] Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 320–469.

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