Message from the European Parliament: Build other HPPs, but please leave Vjosa!

The vice-president of the European Parliament, Ulrike Lunacek, a lover of Albanian nature, is one of the strongest lobbyists against the construction of hydropower plants on the Vjosa River.

“The Vjosa River is the only one in Europe that is flowing freely”, she asserted during a meeting with journalists from Albania at the European Parliament in Brussels.

It is true that Albania needs energy, she says, but not in this river. In this area, she suggests, Albania can invest in ecotourism. Lunacek says that she has expressed her opinion to the Albanian Prime Minister, but still adds that in Albania now all the attention is focused on the elections. Lunacek, who has visited the canyons of Vjosa, claims that there is no clear study to document what flora and fauna there is in that area.

“Before any project, it is very important to do an environmental assessment.” She expresses skepticism if the evaluation being done by the Turkish firm is in line with European energy standards, an element that is very important. If the water is blocked, the flora will not survive, while the consequences of the floods are not known to the residents, hearings should be held with them. “Build other HPPs, but please leave Vjosa”, is the final message of the vice president of the European Parliament.

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