The Site Selection for Spatial Projects of National Importance Act, which regulates national spatial plans, does not entail an exemption from the field of spatial management and spatial planning; on the contrary, it forms a part of the statutory regulation of this field.
The term “local public matter” is a legitimate criterion for differentiating the competences of a municipality from those of the state in the field of spatial management and spatial planning. Matters that are of interest to the state and therefore to all of its inhabitants are not matters that, according to the Constitution, fall within the competence of a municipality, but matters that fall within the competence of the state.
According to the first paragraph of Article 140 of the Constitution, the defence of the state does not fall within the competence of municipalities. Therefore, a municipality cannot have the right to co-decide with regard to the adoption of the national spatial plan for ensuring the defence of the state.
However, as space is an indivisible natural good, a municipality must be able to exert a certain influence in the course of the adoption of national spatial plans although it is not competent to adopt such plans. While the role of the municipality in the adoption of national spatial plans must not be omitted, such role does not ensure that the municipality’s opinions and spatial interests will prevail. A municipality’s competences in the field of spatial management cannot prevail over or even exclude the competences of the state in this field.
A municipality is neither competent nor responsible for all matters in relation to the protection of the environment and the protection of water sources in its territory, but only for those that are determined as such by a law. In accordance with the Waters Act, the protection of bodies of water used for abstraction or intended for the public supply of drinking water falls within the competence of the state. On the basis of Article 216 of the Waters Act, in the transitional period until the enactment of the implementing regulations required by this Act, the regulations of local communities adopted pursuant to the statutory regulation previously in force shall continue to apply. The application of the previously enacted municipal regulations is lawful as such has been determined by a law.
Laws provide information that is important from the perspective of exercising a municipality’s original task of supplying safe drinking water, and it is not important by which law this issue is regulated.
The requirements determined for the planning of spatial projects by sector-specific regulations must always be taken into account.
In the course of spatial planning, the observance of the requirements determined by sector-specific regulations in the selection of sites for spatial projects is also ensured through guidelines and the opinions of the agents responsible for spatial management. With regard to the drafting of national spatial plans, the requirement that opinions be obtained is also reflected in the obligation to provide reasoned positions regarding such opinions.