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Environmental risks from the construction of a cable car in Trieste using funds from the Recover and Resilience Facility

Question écrite de Mme Elisabetta GUALMINI - Commission européenne

Question de Mme Elisabetta GUALMINI,

Diffusée le 8 août 2023

Subject: Environmental risks from the construction of a cable car in Trieste using funds from the Recover and Resilience Facility

The Municipality of Trieste is planning to use funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) to build a 4.2 km cable car between the city’s Porto Vecchio and the Karst Plateau. This would mean clearing more than four hectares of forest within a Natura 2000 site known for its rich biodiversity and endangered animal species. In this respect, the environmental assessment agency of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region has stated that the project would affect as many as six habitats, which are home to 55 bird species, three of which are at risk of extinction (under the corresponding Annex).

In view of the assessment of the relevant regional agency and the fact that the cable car is being built with NRRP funding, I would ask the Commission the following:

1. Does it intend to look into the project’s environmental impact?

2. Is the proposed project eligible for NRRP funds, given its effect on biodiversity?

Submitted: 9.8.2023

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 7 décembre 2023

Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission (8 December 2023)

As a rule, the Commission does not assess the environmental impact of specific projects, without prejudice to its role as guardian of the Treaties.

However, compliance with environmental legislation must be ensured by the Member State regardless of the source of funding, including in relation to assessing projects’ possible impacts on Natura 2000 sites.

The Recovery and Resilience Plan of Italy includes in investment 4.2 of Mission 3 Component 1 (1) the financing of 15 kilometres of funicular lanes in various cities of Italy, without specifying the areas where those lanes will be built.

Investments on cableways could be considered eligible with the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), subject to compliance with the conditions of the RRF Regulation (2), including the principle of the ‘Do No Significant Harm’.

The Commission has not yet received a payment request regarding that investment and is, therefore, not aware if the project described forms part of that measure.

1 ∙ ⸱ https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-10160-2021-ADD-1-REV-2/en/pdf

2 ∙ ⸱ Regulation (EU) 2021/241 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 February 2021 establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility, OJ L 57,

18.2.2021, p. 17.



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