Just days ago, a European Parliament Petition (PETI) delegation visited Romania, following an illegal logging complaint.
Something bewildering occured: the PETI delegation expressly requested that journalists be kept at arm’s length, as the meeting was not, allegedly, in the public interest.
Delegates chose a carefully-drafted and press-proofed route to witness that “everything was under control” in Romania’s forests, as Environment Minister Barna Tánczos would tell them.
After PETI’s “technical meeting” behind closed doors with minister Tánczos and his team, we caught up with State Secretary Ionuț-Sorin Banciu for an exclusive briefing – since he was allowed to sit in the meeting.
And, in the absence of a genuine debate, we asked environmental NGO Agent Green staff, to comment on what he told us, line by line.
We also accompanied activists and rebel MEPs who defied EU’s Environmental Commission, as well as PETI’s official visit agenda and conducted their alternative fact-finding mission, only to discover a catalogue of forest management irregularities in protected sites.
The article will be published in full on Tuesday.
This is a teaser for the first piece in a series of articles sponsored by an independent journalism grant awarded via the IJ4EU consortium and covering European Union policies and deeds.
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