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EC to prevent skiing when depth of snow is less than 20 cm

November 17th, 1992



Myth: The European Parliament wants measures to be introduced to prevent skiing and the use of ski-run maintenance machines when the depth of the snow on a given run is less than 20 centimetres when measured at 10 sample points.

Response: The European Parliament adopted in June 1991 a resolution based on an initiative from its Committee for Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection which calls for restrictions on the development of skí resorts and ski tourism (Official Journal C183 of 15.7.1991). In the European Parliament’s view, these activities damage the alpine environment. To preserve the ecological balance in alpine areas, the resolution proposes restrictions on resort development and planning and the use of ski runs when snow is less than 20 centimetres deep.

The Commission has not followed up these recommendations. As a result, no Commission Directive or proposal exists on the minimum snow depth on ski runs. The only EC legislation which must be taken into account is the development and planning of ski resorts is the Council Directive of 27.6.1985 which stipulates that national authorities must carry out preliminary environmental impact assessments of certain public and private projects before authorising ski resort development (Directive 85/337’/EEC, OJ L 175 of 5.7.1985). This Directive lists the general principles Member States must follow in carrying out environmental impact assessments.

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