* New European Environmental Case Law Database The T.M.C. Asser Institute is proud to announce that a new case law database has been set up, which can be found at the EEL Case law page. The database contains the main environmental cases decided by the ECJ and the CFI. The search form offers several options to find the case you are looking for, for instance by case number, name of parties, sectors (e.g. general, waste, water, air) and full text search.
* Case T-177/01, CFI 3 May 2002, Jégo-Quéré et Cie SA v. Commission The CFI had a change of heart where access to justice is concerned. In the past, individuals were virtually denied a possibility to challenge EC legislation under Article 230(4) EC. The latter provision demands that a direct and individual concern is demonstrated by the individual, something which is hard and in environmental issues virtually impossible, as the French nuclear tests case T-219/95 R showed for instance.
The CFI redefined the concept of being individually concerned in this case, in order to ensure effective legal protection. If a measure affects a person’s legal position in a manner which is both definite and immediate, by restricting his rights or by imposing obligations on him, the number and the position of other persons who are likely to be affected by the measure are no longer considered to be of relevance. The CFI comes to this conclusion by referring, inter alia, to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, proclaimed in Nice in December 2000. The latter document, although not legally binding, affirms the right of individuals to an effective remedy before a court of law.
NB Until an English translation is issued, only the French text is provided.
* Case C-6/00, ECJ 27 February 2002, Abfall Service AG (ASA) and Bundesminster für Umwelt, Jugend und Familie The waste shipment Regulation 259/93 distinguishes between waste export for recovery and for disposal; stricter rules apply in the latter case. If a shipment is notified as destined for recovery, the competent authorities of dispatch can object on the ground that it in fact is destined for disposal under Article 7(2) of the Regulation. Whether deposit of waste in a disused mine forms disposal or recovery depends on whether the waste serves a useful purpose in replacing other materials which would have had to be used for that purpose.
* Case C-9/00, 18 April 2002, Palin Granit Oy and Vehmassalon kansanterveystyön kuntayhtymän hallitus Leftover stone (resulting from stone quarrying) that is stored for an indefinite length of time to await possible use is to be classified as waste within the meaning of Council Directive 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 on waste.
The place of storage of leftover stone, its composition and the fact, even if proven, that the stone does not pose any real risk to human health or the environment are not relevant criteria for determining whether the stone is to be regarded as waste.
* Case C-103/00, ECJ 30 January 2002, Commission v. Greece (Sea turtles) Was it the attractive Greek island Zakynthos that brought Commission officials to inspect for the first time in an environmental case on the spot whether the authorities were enforcing implementation measures? At any rate, it was discovered that the sea turtles were not sufficiently protected. The ECJ rules that Greece did not establish and implement an effective system of strict protection for the sea turtle and thus failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 12(1)(b) and (d) of the Habitats Directive 92/43.
* Update for Czech Republic by the Institute for Environmental Policy, Prague.
* 31 May 2002 (and in October 2002), Vogel- en Habitatrichtlijn, Amesfoort; nadere info http://www.elseviercongressen.nl
* 6-7 June 2002, VI Forum on resource and waste management, Valencia, Spain, Instituto para la Sostenibilidad de los Recorsos; in Spanish, English and French; information at http://www.clubresiduo.org
* 10-11 June 2002, Food Safety – Implementation of the White Paper with Special Reference to Genetically Modified Organisms, Milano, Italy; organised by ERA; in Italian and English; more info at http://www.era.int
* 12 June 2002, Juridische aspecten van voedselveiligheid, Rotterdam, Elsevier congressen, nadere info http://www.elseviercongressen.nl
* 20-21 June 2002, European Environmental Law, Trier, organised by ERA
– An intermediate course offering an overview of inter alia the goals and principles of the Community’s environmental policy, the legal protection of citizens and NGO’s rights, environmental liability and the new chemicals policy developments; in English and German (simultanuous interpretation); more info at http://www.era.int – Conference program http://www.era.int/www/gen/f_856_file_en.pdf
* 26 June 2002, Het landelijk afvalbeheersplan en andere actualiteiten in de afvalsector, Gouda; nadere info http://www.elseviercongressen.nl
* Competition Law, Environmental Policy and Producer Responsibility.
Experiences in the Netherlands from a European perspective (dissertation), by Hans Vedder, Groningen, 2002. Published by Europa Law Publishing, more info at http://www.europalawpublishing.com.
Producer responsibility is frequently discussed at the European level, for instance where it concerns making producers and importers responsible for the collection and recycling of products once they have reached the end of their life. In the Netherlands, a collective producer responsibility organisation funded by a disposal fee exists. The establishment of such collective organisations is encouraged by environmental legislation.
However, competition law is critical of such co-operation particularly with regard to the disposal fee that is to be passed on to consumers. Vedder examines the environmental and competition law applicable to producer responsibility organisations and suggests a number of possible solutions for the conflict between environmental and competition law in this field.
Wybe Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague) Jurgen Lefevere (FIELD, London)
Marco van der Harst, Julien J.M. Simon
(T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)