BUCHAREST — Protecting the environment is often perceived as a minor subject in Romania and is not considered a priority by the authorities, the Soros Foundation deplored Wednesday in a report.
"The environment is often perceived as a subject of minor importance in Romania though it is one of the major issue of European policies", the report called "Politics and Environmental Rights" underlines.
According to the research carried out by Catalina Radulescu, a lawyer specialising in environmental law, the former communist country adopted several packages of laws in this field when it entered the European Union in 2007.
"However, implementing these laws is very difficult because of the instability in public administration", she stresses.
"Problems arise with central authorities as well as with local authorities," she adds, criticizing the "lack of interest of the administration" in reaching the goals of a sustainable development strategy.
"There are many violations of the environmental legislation in Romania", the head of the national environmental protection agency, Silvian Ionescu, admitted after the presentation of the report.
"But we managed to increase the number of inspections from 40,000 in 2009 to 60,000 in 2010 with only five percent extra personnel", he added.
Ionescu deplored that in 2010 judges preferred to give a simple warning in about half of the cases for which the environmental inspectors had deemed it necessary to impose a fine.