M5S Calls on European Commission to Evaluate the Use of PNRR Funds for the Bosco dello Sport and Railway at Tessera

An inquiry has been presented by EU Parliamentarian Sabrina Pignedoli, with deputy Enrico Cappelletti and former Senator Orietta Vanin. “The PNRR is not meant to cover any need. They can move forward, but we will find ourselves without the necessary funding”

27 November 2022

The 5 Star Movement has brought the “Cittadella dello Sport” and the rail project for Tessera to the European Commission. On Saturday, EU Parliamentarian Sabrina Pignedoli, with deputy Enrico Cappelletti and former Senator Orietta Vanin, now a member of the Culture Commission and Human Rights Commission, held a press conference in Mestre to present the inquiry requesting verification of these projects’ conformity with European law. “The PNRR funds cannot cover just any need, but are meant to finance only determined types of spending for Green projects and innovation, for example, or redevelopment of suburban areas. If they are used for other things instead it is obvious that the European Commission will not fund the projects once they are evaluated. They can move forward with the project, but later we will find ourselves without the European portion of the financing”, commented EU Parliamentarian Sabrina Pignedoli.

The Council of the Metropolitan City of Venice approved the building of the Cittadella dello Sport at Tessera in March 2022, renaming it the “Bosco dello Sport” (the Forest of Sport), which was then the subject of a Planning Agreement with the City of Venice. The Strategic Environmental Assessment is now being conducted. The project would be built with 93 million Euros from the European PNRR funds and 189 million Euros financed by the City of Venice. “The approved project is completely outside the requirements, prescriptions and conditions called for by the National Recovery and Resilience Program presented to the European Commission on 30 April 2021 by the Italian Government – said the M5S representatives – and the funds must be used following precise criteria, which are completely absent in the Cittadella dello Sport project”.

Pignedoli, Cappelletti and Vanin have found a variety of problems. “The projects financed by Mission 5 of the PNRR call for the rehabilitation of distressed urban areas: the Cittadella dello Sport is planned to be built at Tessera, where the crime index is extremely low and social distress is practically nonexistent. The area consists of uncontaminated agricultural countryside where there are flood plains, significant flora and fauna, and attractive paths in the greenery that are very popular. In other words, the area clearly does not present any of the characteristics of a distressed urban area. In addition – they add – the project for the Bosco dello Sport and the construction of the related infrastructure involve the consumption of 40 hectares of green land, in clear opposition to the goals of the EU Regulations themselves: ecological revolution, sustainable development, circular economy and the Green Deal”.

“We lack – say the M5S representatives – an evaluation of conformity to the conditions established by the principle of DNSH (do no significant harm), that is, that projects should not cause any significant damage to the environment, despite the fact that the area to be reclaimed is characterized by a traditional Venetian agricultural arrangement with the confirmed presence of bird species of interest for conservation (great egret, egret, marsh harrier, harrier kingfisher, golden plover, reed bunting, stonechat, woodpeckers, etc.) and is adjacent to the “Laguna superiore di Venezia”.

These problems are also raised by the proposed new high-speed rail connection between the Airport and Venice, also planned to be built at Tessera. “It interferes with the UNESCO Site “Venezia e la sua Laguna”, contradicting the Recommendation adopted at Fuzhou, China in July 2021, which calls for “Stopping all new large-scale projects within the site and its broader territorial context”. Finally, no process of participation for the economic actors and civil society has been implemented in the definition phase of the interventions in the Planning Agreement, contravening what is called for in the Aarhus Convention regarding participation in decisions on environmental matters”.

Source: Venezia Today

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