EU moves to tackle Baltic Sea pollution


Lithuania’s European Commission delegate, Virginijus Sinkevičius, has initiated a joint declaration to cut pollution in the Baltic Sea.

According to the commissioner, pollution in the Baltic Sea results from its shallow waters, limited connection to the ocean, slow water circulation, and low water temperatures, as well as onshore pollution.

It is one of the most polluted seas in the world.

“We have to change the things that depend on human factors,” Sinkevičius, responsible for environment, oceans and fisheries at the commission, said in comments sent to BNS.

Baltic waters are heavily contaminated with chemicals due to farming activities in the surrounding countries, as well as with oil products from spills.

Thousands of tons of unused German chemical weapons have also been dumped in the sea after the Second World War.

“A declaration setting out obligations to take specific measures to reduce pollution of the Baltic Sea is now being harmonised with environment and agriculture ministers,” said Sinkevičius.

According to the EU commissioner, the signatories of the joint declaration, which should be signed in September, would include Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.

Although it was too early to talk about specific measures, countries were likely to commit to clean up individual areas of the Baltic Sea, he added.

“I think we will try to pool resources, programmes and […] the member states involved will add specific lines to their budgets. However, this can only happen if we stem pollution, its sources,” said Sinkecičius.

The European Union would also provide financing for the goals that would be set out in the declaration.


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