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Waste Processing Landfill Site in Pezinok 1997 – 2009: Citizens Defending their Environment.

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Presentation on theme: "Waste Processing Landfill Site in Pezinok 1997 – 2009: Citizens Defending their Environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Waste Processing Landfill Site in Pezinok 1997 – 2009: Citizens Defending their Environment

2 Pezinok A town of 20,000 inhabitants Famous vine growing area 20 km away from the capital city The old landfill The “old” existing landfill is situated just over 150 m away from a residential area The “old” landfill site contains millions of tons of old waste (including toxic waste) Citizens of Pezinok suffer more from cancer than the average rate in Slovakia

3 Depth: a 4-floor condominium Area: 11 and half soccer fields Potential capacity: 792,000 tons of waste The distance from living area: 280 meters “New” Landfill Site The new landfill, 2008

4 ignored incompatibility of the construction plan with the binding law, unlawfully made the decision-making process and the decisions secret, excluded the citizens and the municipality from the proceeding, tolerated the illegal construction and illegal use of the landfill. During the procedure of permission for the construction the state authorities:

5 The Head of the state insitution that decided on the construction permission was Ján Man Jr. who was also: a political nominee of the strongest government party, a co-owner of the land under the landfill, a son of the owner of the company that was building the landfill, member of the board of trustees of the company. Background

6 82% of Pezinok inhabitants did not agree with building the new landfill 1,200 citizens participated in the proceedings A year long series of mass public protests 10 public protest actions in total In a single day more than 8,000 people signed the petition that was sent to the European Parliament Citizens’ Response

7 Public Support 150 public figures supported the protest Growing support of the civic protest from all over the country Support of the top political representatives of the country More than 100 outputs in the national media monthly

8 Legal Support to the Civic Initiative Granted a lawyer to work on the case for several years Strategic Litigation A case of illegal exclusion of the citizens from the proceedings (Constitutional Court ruling) A case of violation of freedom of speech Access to information was limited to the citizens Biela vrana (White crow) award 2008 Via Iuris:

9 What Makes this Story so Unique? Synergy of legal tools and public campaigning Extremely vital and long-lasting civic activism Close cooperation of the municipality and the civic initiative Significant involvement of the media

10 Never Ending Story? The protest has lasted for more than 10 years This is the largest civic campaign in Slovakia since 1989 Many top legal experts and public institutions agreed with the arguments of Pezinok citizens The construction of the landfill has been finished The landfill is being filled with waste Until the last authority decides the landfill will be full of waste and the damage made on the environment will be irreversible However Photo: SME

11 Will the Damage Made on the Rule of Law in Slovakia be Irreversible as well?

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