EEL News Service 2005/17, 20 October 2005

Added to Case Law, ECJ:
* C-502/03, Commission vs. Greece
ECJ 06-10-2005, nyr, not yet available in English
Greece was condemned by the ECJ for not complying with Waste Directive 75/442/EEC, amended by Directive 91/156/EEC by not taking enough measures to control or close down illegal waste dump sites.

* C-9/04, Geharo
ECJ 06-10-2005, nyr
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has asked the ECJ for a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of Directive 88/378/EEC on approximation of the laws concerning the safety of toys and Directive 91/338/EEC on the approximation of the laws relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations. The Dutch criminal proceedings were brought against Geharo BV for having stocked toys with a cadmium content greater than the maximum content permitted under Netherlands law. The ECJ has ruled that cadmium levels in toys are subject to restrictions in both directives.

* T-366/03 and T-235/04, Land Oberösterreich und Österreich vs. Commission
CFI 05-10-2005, nyr
The Austrian government failed to prove that the Upper Austria region had unique ecosystems that required risk assessments with a higher level than those specified in the Directive 90/220/EEC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms, the Court said in a ruling against a ban in the Upper Austria region on genetically modified crops including those with EU-wide marketing approval. The case was brought by Austria and the region Upper Austria after the European Commission rejected its request for a derogation under article 95 Para. 5 EC from EU rules on deliberate release of GMOs. All pleas made were dismissed. This decision seems very unfavorable to other 164 European regions that have declared themselves GM-free.

Added to Legislation, Dangerous substances:
* Parliament and Council Regulation No 648/2004 of 31 March 2004 on detergents
The Regulation on detergents entered into force on 8 October 2005. It introduces stricter testing methods for the biodegradability of detergent surfactants. Focus is now put on testing the ultimate rather than the primary biodegradability and labelling requirements for the protection of consumer health is also improved, in particular with regard to allergenic substances in detergents.

Added to Policy Areas, Climate Change, News:
* UK court action against NAP rejection
The UK launched legal proceedings against the European Commission last March following the Commission’s rejection of the UK’s proposed amendment to the total quantity of allowances in the UK’s National Allocation Plan (NAP) for Phase 1 (2005-2007) of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The UK’s case seeks to require the Commission to consider the substance of the amendment submitted to the Commission in November 2004. The amendment proposed a total quantity of 756 million allowances to be allocated to installations in the UK – an increase of around 20 million allowances on the total submitted in the provisional NAP. The UK sought for its case to be heard early, which was agreed in June 2005. The first hearing took place on 18 October 2005, and a judgement is due at the beginning of 2006. See for further information .

Added to Policy Areas, General, Policy Documents, Energy:
* Edinburg Declaration 2005
During the 6th Inter-parliamentary Meeting for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency parliamentarians from more than 20 European countries have called on the EU to develop a combined renewable energy and energy efficiency strategy (Reees). The declaration follows the latest biannual inter-parliamentary meeting on renewables and energy efficiency, held in Edinburgh. The MPs’ initial demand is for full implementation of existing directives on renewable energy and energy efficiency. They want existing non-binding targets for 2010 for renewable electricity and biofuel use in transport made mandatory. Interim targets include 33% renewable electricity by 2020, by which time renewables should provide 25% of all energy. In the immediate future, the MPs want the EU to assign at least €300m to renewables and €200m to energy efficiency under its next research programme.

Added to Policy Areas, General, Policy Documents, General:
* European Environment Outlook (EEA Report No 4/2005)
Protecting our environment is a key element in ensuring sustainable livelihoods for today’s and future generations. Indeed, the most recent Eurobarometer surveys show that as Europeans we regard the protection of our environment to be one of the six key priorities for the European Union. Issues of particular concern are water and air pollution, man-made disasters, and climate change. In addition, new challenges arising from diffuse sources of pollution, changing consumption patterns, and the possibility of sudden extreme environmental changes all need to be addressed.

Added to Policy Areas, Waste, Policy Documents:
* Effectiveness of packaging waste management systems in selected countries: an EEA pilot study (EEA Report No 3/2005)
This is a pilot study of the effectiveness of packaging waste management systems in five EU Member States with the aim of gaining practical and concrete experience of ex-post policy effectiveness evaluation, and to track progress in this policy area. Packaging waste is an important and growing waste stream. The amended Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive has recently been adopted, and work is underway to develop EU thematic strategies on waste prevention and recycling and on the sustainable use and management of natural resources. The Directive is one of the few environmentally-related directives to contain directly measurable, quantitative targets.

Added to Upcoming Events:
* 27 October 2005, EIC National Conference, London, UK
* 9 – 10 November 2005, IBC’s 12th Annual Conference on The Biocidal Products Directive, Brussels, Belgium

Updated at National Pages:
* Spain, by our new editor for Spain ms. Maribel Rodriguez.

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

Daria Ratsiborinskaya (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague and Institute of European law, MGIMO-University, Moscow)

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