EEL News Service 2005/09, 23 May 2005

Dear readers,
Due to national holidays the editorial team the EEL News Service has taken a short break. We will be with you again on the regular two week basis until the summer break.
The EEL website team

Added to Legislation page, Secondary Legislation, Dangerous Substances and to Policy areas, Dangerous Substances, Legislation:

* Commission Regulation (EC) No. 642/2005 of 27 April 2005 imposing testing and information requirements on the importers or manufacturers of certain priority substances in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) No. 793/93 on the evaluation and control of the risks of existing substances
Manufacturers and importers of twelve priority “existing substances” have to carry out a series of extra scientific tests to help risk assessors to decide whether further restrictions are needed. These includes biodegradation testing on short-chain chlorinated paraffins, a “long-term toxicity testing” of tetrabromobisphenol-A, and an investigation into the long-term endocrine effects of the phthalate BBP.

Added to Policy areas, Waste, Policy Documents:

* Communication from the Commission pursuant to the second subparagraph of Article 251 (2) of the EC Treaty concerning the Common Position of the Council on the adoption of a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the management of waste from the extractive Industries; COM(2005) 170 final of 27 April 2005
The document aims to establish minimum requirements in order to improve waste management in the extractive industries. The document proposes to minimise the environmental and human health effects of polluted drainage from waste management facilities and to prevent, or minimise the impacts of, accidents, and in particular to ensure the long-term stability of tailings dams and ponds, given that dam bursts have the potential to create widespread environmental damage, including threats to human life.

Added to Policy areas, General, Policy Documents:
* Communication from the Commission Improving the Community Civil Protection Mechanism; COM(2005) 137 final of 20 April 2005
The European Commission has proposed immediate and long-term measures to boost the EU’s civil protection mechanism for rapid response to environmental and other emergencies and disasters.

Added to Case Law, ECJ, Water and to Policy areas, Water, Case Law:

* Case C-239/03, Commission v. France
ECJ 7-10-2004, nyr
By failing to take all appropriate measures to protect the ‘Étang de Berre’, a saltwater marsh of 15 000 hectares which communicates directly with the Mediterranean Sea, the French Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Barcelona Convention on the protection of the Mediterranean Sea and its Protocols. This constitutes a failure to observe Community law, as mixed agreements concluded by the Community, its Member States and non-member countries have the same status in the Community legal order as purely Community agreements in so far as the provisions fall within the scope of Community competence. See also Case C-213/03 (below).

* Case C-213/03, Syndicat professionnel coordination des pêcheurs de l’Ètang de Berre et de la région
ECJ 15-07-2004, nyr
Article 6 § 3 of the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-based Sources, and Article 6 § 1 of the Protocol as amended at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries held in Syracuse on 7 and 8 March 1996, have according to the ECJ  direct effect. So any interested party (in the case fishermen) is entitled to rely on those provisions before the national courts against polluters. Those same provisions prohibit, without an authorisation issued by the national competent authorities, the discharge into a saltwater marsh communicating with the Mediterranean Sea of substances which, although not toxic, have an adverse effect on the oxygen content of the marine environment. See also Case C-293/03 (above).

Added to
Case Law, ECJ, General and to Policy areas, General, Case Law:

* C-186/04, Housieaux
ECJ 21-04-2005, nyr
Belgium was condemned for allowing public authorities to use failure to respond to information requests as a signal that those requests have been refused. In a judgment on the country’s implementation of the EU Directive 90/313/EEC on access to environmental information the Court ruled that authorities must explain their reasons for a refusal to those requesting information. The new EU rules laid down in Directive 4/2003 which entered into force in February 2005 now explicitly disallow such “tacit refusals”.

Added to
Case Law, ECJ, Waste and to Policy areas, Waste, Case Law:

* C-494/01, Commission v. Ireland
ECJ 26-04-2005, nyr
The ECJ condemned Ireland for general failure to implement EU waste law. The ruling is an important boost for European Commission efforts to ensure full respect of EU environmental legislation. Previously the Court has avoided extrapolating such a general failure from specific, proved cases of non-compliance. The Commission must satisfy the burden of proof for each and every allegation of non-compliance against Member States, the Court acknowledges. However, it adds, “in principle nothing prevents the Commission from seeking in parallel “a more general finding that breaches are linked to “a general practice” adopted by national authorities”. The judgment demonstrates breathtaking Irish non-compliance with Directive 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 on waste. Breaches included hundreds of landfills operating without permits, some containing hazardous waste. Authorities tolerated illegal landfills over years or took ineffective enforcement action. Altogether, Ireland breached eight articles of the Directive.

Updated Air Pollution Dossier:
 * Apart from reports on national case law on this issue, i nformation was added about the official Dutch report Milieubalans 2005, which explains that on a yearly basis in the Netherlands with its 16 million inhabitants, between 3400 and 5700 persons are dying earlier than they normally would because of exposure to PM10 and ozone.

Added to Events page,
Upcoming Events:

* 24-26 May 2005, ET 2005, Birmingham, UK
ET is the largest exhibition for environmental professionals to source solutions, network and do business with over 150 leading solution providers, product launches, demonstrations, free seminars, workshops. More information on

* 1-2 June 2005, Friends of Europe’s Roundtable Events at Green Week 2005, Brussels, Belgium
Take part in interactive debate on “environmental challenges of global transport” and “a green agenda of global business” with some 45 senior EU policy makers, government representatives, NGO leaders, industrialists and journalists. More information on

* 14-15 June 2005, 1st Annual Obesity Europe Conference, Brussels, Belgium
The event brings together experts and decision makers from Europe and beyond as well as industry representatives, to facilitate a rational debate on the cross-sector strategies required to tackle European obesity, explore the proposed legislation on food and nutritional labelling, etc. To download the conference brochure (pdf-format) see

Added to Who’s Who page, National Editors:

* Anna Syngellakis, National Editor, Greece page

Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Jens Hamer (Academy of European Law, Trier)

Daria Ratsiborinskaya (Institute of European law, MGIMO-University, Moscow)

Technical realisation:
Marco van der Harst, Julien J.M. Simon
(T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)