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March 5, 2021

Court of Appeal blocks Buzesti-Berzei-Uranus expressway

The Bucharest Court of Appeal suspended, on June 16, the Bucharest General Council’s Reso­lution (HCGMB 262/2006), by which the Buzesti-Berzei-Uranus expressway had been declared a public utility project.

The suspension decision will remain in force until the suit calling for the annulment of this resolution is tried, that is, until April 2012. The decision is final and irrevocable. Initially, the Bucharest Court, represented by the judge Loneta Gavrea, rejected, on November 23, 2010, the suit of the “Salvati Bucurestiul” Association, but the Court of Appeal allowed their appeal against that initial decision and issued a ruling favourable to the NGO.

The “Salvati Bucurestiul” Association filed the suit at the Bucharest Court on October 29, 2010. The association claims that, in keeping with legal provisions, given that the project would affect historical monuments, the public utility status should have been declared by the Parliament, by a law adopted, rather than by the General Council. Under legal provisions, a project can be declared public utility based on a scientific analysis that attests that the solution chosen is the most effective and justifies the costs. The Mayor’s Office failed to attest that a prior analysis had taken place and there wasn’t even an estimate of the costs, the aforementioned source further claims.

The commission which declared the project public utility did not include the representatives of related institutions, as the law requires, the five members were all representatives of the Bucharest Mayor’s Office and had been called upon exclusively to declare the Basarab Pass a public utility project. The public utility status was the necessary condition for the Ministry of Culture’s approving the demolition/ displacement of the seven historic monuments still standing on the route of the Buzesti-Berzei expressway, including the Matache Market. By the Bucharest Court of Appeal ruling, there is no longer any legal ground for the demolition/displacement of the seven monuments. “This is the fifth suit filed by NGOs on the topic of the Buzesti-Berzei expressway that the mayor lost,” the Association stated.

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