As we already informed our readers, our Association sent the official demands to all relevant intergovernmental and independent organizations regarding the ecological disaster happened on 7th of August, 2021 when 100 tonnes of oil have leaked off to the Black Sea near the city of Novorossiysk (Russia) from the terminal owned by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) , whose shareholders include Russia’s state monopoly enterprise ‘Rosneft’, Kazakhstan’s key enterprise ‘KazMunayGas’ (19 %), United States’ oil giant ‘Chevron’ (15 %) and Italy’s ‘Eni’ trust (2 %). Basing on the official response we received, we also informed the readers that owing to our submission European Environment Agency (EEA) pointed us on their investigation on this issue already.

After that publication we got the urgent email letter from the EEA with de-facto EEA’s refusal to make any next steps in this case. That EEA new email letter pointed that EEA allegedly neither sets nor enforces environmental policies and that it allegedly has no mandate for providing legal or technical assistance for complaints relating to environmental legislation, and no powers of investigation related to the concerns we raised. Later, on 18th August our Association got another email letter from EEA informing us that the reference on the EEA in the abovementioned publication is allegedly inaccurate as to what EEA’s role and mandate, as on EEA’s involvement in this particular issue.

At the same time regarding the current codified version of the Regulation (EC) № 401/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009, to achieve the aims of environmental protection and improvement laid down by the Treaty and by successive EU’s action programs on the environment, as well as of sustainable development, the objective of the EEA shall be to provide the EU and the EU Member States with objective, reliable and comparable information at European level enabling them to take the requisite measures to protect the environment, to assess the results of such measures and to ensure that the public is properly informed about the state of the environment, and the necessary technical and scientific support also (points “a”, “b” of part 2 of Article 1 of this Regulation).

More, regarding the point “a” of Article 2 of this Regulation for the purposes of achieving the objective set out in its above-pointed Article 1, the tasks of the EEA shall include the responsibility of EEA for the collection, processing and analysis of data, in particular in the fields referred in Article 3 of Regulation (EC) № 401/2009 (with its point “h”, coastal and marine protection as the areas of work where priority shall be given). And more, the point “e” of Article 2 of this Regulation obligate EEA to record, collate and assess data on the state of the environment, to draw up expert reports on the quality, sensitivity and pressures on the environment within the EU territory, to provide uniform assessment criteria for environmental data to be applied in all Member States, to develop further and maintain a reference centre of information on the environment; the European Commission shall use this information in its task of ensuring the implementation of EU’s legislation on the environment.

And more, the point “m” of Article 2 of this Regulation obligates EEA to ensure the broad dissemination of reliable and comparable environmental information, in particular on the state of the environment, to the general public. So the allegations of EEA that it allegedly has no competence for the investigation of the ecologic incidents and catastrophes are not in compliance with those provisions as EEA has a clear mandate to collect, process and analyze of such data, including the issues of coastal and marine pollution and protections. And more, the broad-scale ecologic incident in Black Sea described in the our submission has direct connection with activities of Italian ‘Eni’ company and with ecologic risks for the Romanian and Bulgarian maritime and coastal Black Sea ecosystems, so it is directly under mandate of the European Union bodies.

So our Association asked now, by the additional official submission, the European Commission directly, including the Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment Mrs. Florika Fink-Hooijer to react, in the framework of its mandate, on the abovementioned EEA’s obviously illegal denial to realise own functions established by the described points of this Regulation (EC) № 401/2009, and to inform us on the achieved results of such Comission’s activities. Also we informed the environment governing bodies of the Black Sea EU States, Bulgaria and Romania and the competent diplomatic structures of Ukraine on this issue.

This practical negative example reflects vividly the potential of Russian and Russia-related big business, which corrupts the international bodies and destroys today not only the ecosystems of Crimea, but the entire Black Sea region as a whole, with the complete silence of the competent international structures.