Speech against the “Grands projets inutiles et imposés” at European Commission’s Trans-European Transport Networks conference
There was a European Commission conference in Talinn on 16-17th October, organised through Infrastructure TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Networks). A similar meeting has been held annually for several years. Its aim was for European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, Ministers, Members of the European Parliament and key stakeholders to gather to discuss the future development of the trans-European transport network. One of the speeches at the conference was by Madeleine Wahlberg, who has spent many years researching and lecturing in the planning and public policy field, particularly focusing on the decision processes behind major schemes. She spoke of the Grands projets inutiles et imposés (big, unnecessary imposed projects) across Europe – such as huge road schemes, airport building, high speed rail lines, motorways and barrages. She made the point that opponents of these huge schemes want social justice,and they want transport that is environmentally responsible, that adopts a Life Cycle Assessment and that applies the precautionary principle. Current TEN-T proposals embody massive environmental destruction.
Madeleine Wahlberg has spent many years researching and lecturing in the planning and public policy field, particularly focusing on the decision processes behind major schemes. She has been involved in many public consultations on behalf of different parts of Government. One of her articles, on HS2 is at “Which will it be – HS2 or local transport investment in the regions?“
Speech of the Forum against Unnecessary Imposed Mega Projects
TEN-T Days 2013 – Tallinn, 16 October 2013,
- I am here to represent the Forum against Unnecessary Imposed Mega Projects, an international network of communities across Spain, France, Italy, the UK, Germany, Romania, Morocco, and more, who actively oppose the imposition of massive infrastructure projects such as the HS2 rail scheme in the UK, the new rail line Lyon-Turin, the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the rail scheme of Stuttgart 21, the fixed Fehmarn Belt link, High speed Bordeaux-Spain, the Basque Y rail, the tunnel under Old Florence and more.
- The schemes that we oppose are:
· Unnecessary because they do not meet the real transport needs of the populations but instead they divert vital public funds to mega schemes that are first and foremost about generating private mega profits
· and Imposed because citizens are excluded from real influence in both the analysis of the transport problem, and in the democratic identification of ways to address that.
· The symbol of our Forum is the ‘white elephant’ which, in parts of Asia, is an idiom for gifts that are useless, likely to bankrupt the recipient, called sacred, and cannot be refused. A perfect symbol for so many of the TEN-T projects that we oppose.
What is our common experience?
- Over the last 3 years, our Forum has held a series of international meetings where citizens have discussed these mega projects. We have found that the problems that we faced are not unique to each different scheme but are common across them.
- these projects create ecological, socio-economic and human disasters through the destruction of ecosystems, agricultural land, cultural and artistic heritage.
- Yes – we want investment in improved transportation right across Europe BUT
- We want a European transport system that prioritises the needs of people, not one that prioritises the production of super-profits for a few during the construction period and debt to the population afterwards. We know what the Banks have done to the European economy through reckless lending to housing. We do not want to see that replicated through the TEN-T mega projects and their use of Project Bonds.
- We want TEN-T Coordinators to value the direct and detailed knowledge of citizens regarding the impact of TEN-T schemes on their lives, and to give priority to acting on their inputs before the point of no return, as stated in Art. 6.4 of the Aarhus Convention. “Each Party shall provide for early public participation, when all options are open and effective public participation can take place”.
- We want to uphold the right to transport for all citizens over luxury and vanity schemes for the wealthiest travellers. Social justice does not seem to feature on the radar of TEN-T schemes.
- To maintain and optimize existing infrastructure which, from an environmental, cost and job creation perspective, almost always represents a better alternative compared to the construction of new infrastructure.
- Given the profound transformation of the socio-economic model that is in deep crisis, we want you to give preference to the re-localization of the economy, to the protection of agricultural land, to the moderation of energy-use and to further the transition toward de-centralized, renewable energy sources.
- To place the interests of the communities directly affected at the heartof the decision-making process.
3ème forum européen contre les grands projets inutiles imposés
mardi 23 juillet 2013, par zadist
3e forum européen contre les grands projets inutiles et imposés
Du 25 au 29 juillet se déroulera à Stuttgart le 3e forum européen des grands projets inutiles imposés. En France, nous avons Notre-Dame-des-Landes qui avait accueilli le forum en 2012, en Italie, la ligne “Lyon-Turin” et en Allemagne, le projet de gare ferroviaire souterraine à Stuttgart. Ces trois projets emblématiques représentent le berceau d’une résistance économico-environnementale et le forum sera l’occasion d’un échange entre les altermondialistes européens.
Après le 1er Forum de 2011 dans le val de Suse en Italie et le 2e Forum de 2012 à Notre-Dame-des-Landes en France, les opposants au projet de gare souterraine Stuttgart21 ont décidé d’organiser le 3e Forum contre les grands projets inutiles et imposés du 25 au 29 juillet 2013 à Stuttgart. Ce forum aura lieu dans l’ancien dépôt des wagons des chemins de fer avec une idée simple : « le mouvement dans l’intention de le faire avancer ».
Poursuivre le rapprochement des mouvements européens
Fort de l’expérience fructueuse des deux précédents forums, les opposants à Stuttgart21 veulent poursuivre cet échange et le rapprochement des mouvements dans le sens d’une résistance commune et de solidarité réciproque : « C’est dans l’union des forces que se dessine les victoires de demain ». Le Forum de Stuttgart veut poursuivre cette voie avec les objectifs suivants :
· Pour l’échange et le soutien réciproque en Allemagne, en Europe et aussi … dans le monde entier
· Pour la sauvegarde des bases de la vie, pour la nature comme pour la société
· Pour la discussion des causes et des arrière-fonds de ces grands projets et des conditions générales posées par la société, des perspectives sociétales et des alternatives.
Les grands projets inutiles et imposés servent à la redistribution des deniers publics dans les quelques poches privées. Ils sont sans utilité pour la population, et les conséquences sont : destruction, démontage, dégâts. Ils garantissent le profit aux groupes industriels et bancaires, ils sont contraires à l’intérêt public et sont imposés par des méthodes de mensonges, d’interventions brutales de la police et de répression de personnes qui s’y opposent.
Plus d’information : http://drittes-europäisches-forum.de (multilangue)
and a bad translation of the above into English:
3rd European Forum against unnecessary and imposed major projects
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 , by zadist
3rd European Forum against large and imposed unnecessary projects
From July 25 to 29 the 3rd European Forum on large unnecessary imposed projects will be held in Stuffgart. In France, we have Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport, which hosted the forum in 2012. Italy has the line “Lyon-Turin” and in Germany, the proposed underground railway station in Stuttgart. These three flagship projects represent the cradle of an economic and environmental resistance and the forum will be an opportunity for exchange between European anti-globalization.
After the first Forum in 2011 in Susa in Italy and the second Forum in 2012 in Notre-Dame-des-Landes in France, opponents of the proposed underground station Stuttgart 21 decided to organize the 3rd Forum against these major unnecessary imposedprojects from 25 to 29 July 2013 in Stuttgart. This forum will be held in the former depot wagons Railway with a simple idea: “the movement intends to advance.”
Continue approximation of European movements
Building on the successful experience of the two previous forums, opponents Stuttgart21 want to continue this exchange and reconciliation of movements in the direction of a common resistance and mutual solidarity: “It is in the union of forces that the victories of tomorrow emerge. ” The Stuttgart Forum wants to pursue this path with the following objectives:
· To exchange and mutual support in Germany, Europe and also worldwide …
· To safeguard the foundations of life, for nature and for society
· For the discussion of the causes and background of these major projects and general conditions imposed by society, societal perspectives and alternatives.
The major projects are unnecessary and imposed the redistribution of public funds in the few private pockets. They are useless for the people, and the consequences are: destruction, removal, damage.
They guarantee profit to industrial and banking groups, they are contrary to the public interest and are imposed by methods of lies, brutal police intervention and repression of people who oppose it.
For more information http://drittes-europäisches-forum.de (multilingual)
European Commission – Mobility and Transport
Infrastructure TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Networks)
What do we want to achieve ?
The new EU infrastructure policy will put in place a powerful European transport network across 28 Member States to promote growth and competitiveness. It will connect East with West and replace today’s transport patchwork with a network that is genuinely European. The core network will be established by 2030.
The new policy establishes, for the first time, a core transport network built on 9 major corridors: 2 North-South corridors, 3 East West corridors; and 4 diagonal corridors. The core network will transform East West connections, remove bottlenecks, upgrade infrastructure and streamline cross border transport operations for passengers and businesses throughout the EU. It will improve connections between different modes of transport and contribute to the EU’s climate change objectives.
Financing for transport infrastructure will triple for the period 2014-2020 to €26 billion. This EU funding will be tightly focused on the core transport network where there is most EU added value. To prioritise East West connections, almost half the total EC transport infrastructure funding (€11.3 billion Euro from the Connecting Europe Facility, CEF) will be ring-fenced only for cohesion countries.
Transport infrastructure is fundamental for the smooth operation of the internal market, for the mobility of persons and goods and for the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the European Union. The EU 27 comprises 5.000.000 km of paved roads, out of which 65.100 km are motorways, 212.800 km of rail lines (of which 110.458 km electrified), and 42.709 km of navigable inland waterways.