Germany: Hamburg Port Business Community Comments on Court Decision
With yesterday’s decision to accept the emergency petitions against the planning approval decision on adjustment of the navigation channel, the Federal Administrative Court has not delivered a judgement on the core issue, but has deferred a decision in the principal proceedings, as it has also done on other major infrastructural projects.
The Federal Administrative Court has justified its decision by citing the extensive technical and legal questions involved. That has to be respected. That the Federal Administrative Court has expressly permitted the preparatory measures, as for example the implementation of the scheme to secure the riverbank at Altenbrucher Bogen, as well as clearance of the construction site, merits positive comment.
This decision by the Federal Administrative Court confirms that the legislature has framed planning law in too complex a manner for timely decisions to be achieved on infrastructure projects essential for the competitiveness of the German economy. Against this background, it will also be impossible for the essential expansion of infrastructure in connection with the “Energiewende”, or move to alternative energy sources, to be achieved in good time. A fundamental overhaul of planning law is urgently required.
Gunther Bonz, President of Unternehmensverband Hafen Hamburg e.V. (Port of Hamburg Business Association): “The Hamburg port business community understands that the measure should be carefully scrutinized by the Federal Administrative Court. Yet the main consideration now is that a decision is taken on the matter rapidly. A state under the rule of law is also notable for reaching essential decisions swiftly. With its judgements on the European Fiscal Pact and on measures to stabilize the euro, the Federal Constitutional Court has proved that this is possible.”
Press Release, October 19, 2012