EEL News Service 2005/20, 1 December 2005

Added to Job postings:
* Senior researcher/consultant in the field of the law of the European Union at the T.M.C. Asser Institute
The job involves research and acquiring consultancy assignments, managing projects and participating as a senior researcher. Profile: a lawyer, a holder of a PhD degree (or an advanced PhD candidate) or an experienced consultant, who has published on substantive EU law (for instance in the field of European Environmental Law) and has five to seven years of research and consultancy experience. See for further details the EEL website.


Added to Case law, ECJ:

* C-98/03, Commission vs. Germany
Opinion of 24-11-2005, nyr, not yet available in English
Advocate-General Colomer upheld the complaint of the European Commission against Germany for incorrectly transposing into national law the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. According to the Opinion, German law fails to require assessment of possible impacts on protected areas of certain development projects. In particular there is no requirement to assess air emissions from installations near such areas. Altogether there are six infringements for which Germany is accused.

Added to Case law, CFI:

* T-178/05, United Kingdom vs. Commission
CFI, 23-11-2005, nyr
The Court of First Instance has ruled that the Commission was wrong when it refused to accept an upward revision in the amount of carbon allowances it wanted to give UK industry for the scheme’s first phase of 2005-2007.  The Commission’s basic fear that, if countries could increase allocations, then the environmental aims of the scheme could be undermined, was found to be “exaggerated” by the Court. The most important aspect of the judgment is that Member States have the right to amend allocation plans (NAPs) at any time before distributing allowances, with the only precondition that the European Commission must approve all NAPs and any revisions. The criteria the Commission must use include a test of whether the allocation is consistent with a country’s Kyoto target to limit greenhouse gas emissions. This case marks the first jurisprudence on the allocation scheme.

Added to Policy Areas, General policy documents:

* Annual reports concerning the financial year 2004
The EU’s official audit body has identified shortcomings in European environmental funding programmes in a report on the 2004 budget issued on Tuesday. The European Court of Auditors called for further improvements to the LIFE environmental project fund, despite changes already made since it had already criticised the scheme in 2003. It noted flaws in management and control systems for the EU’s pre-accession transport and environment fund, ISPA, as well. The report also summarises recent criticisms it levelled at agri-environment funding under the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

* The European environment – State and outlook 2005  (EEA State of Environment report No 1/2005)
The report assesses progress across 31 European countries: the EU-25 plus Bulgaria, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Romania and Turkey. For the first time it includes a country-by-country analysis with performance indicators and international comparisons. This is the third state and outlook report on the European environment produced by EEA since 1994. Looking back, the last report, published in 1999 concluded that, despite 25 years of Community environmental policy, environmental quality in the European Union was mixed and that the unsustainable development of some key economic sectors was the major barrier to further improvements. That remains the EEA’s key conclusion, despite significant progress on some issues demonstrating that environmental policy works. Nevertheless it is hoped that in its next state and outlook report, the EEA would be able to report significant environmental improvements, not least as a result of reversing unsustainable trends in sectors such as energy, agriculture and transport.

* Commission Communication Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES): From Concept to Reality, COM(2005) 565 final of 10 November 2005
This document sets out a strategy for delivering GMES, beginning with the pilot phase of the three first operational GMES services by 2008. It explains the process for defining the scope of these services, in conjunction with the users, and sets out the Commission’s goal to ensure continuity of service. It discusses the establishment of appropriate management structures linked to each phase of the programme.

Added to Reviews:
* Environmental Liability in the EU. The 2004 Directive compared with US and Member State law, G. Betlem and E. Brans (eds.-in-chief)

Lexmercatoria, ISBN: 1905017197; Hardback; £125.00/US$238.00

This book focuses on the 2004 EU Environmental Liability Directive – one of the most significant pieces of environmental legislation of the last ten years or so. The book provides an overview and introduction to the scheme of the Directive and discusses various specific aspects such as its measure of damages, its rules regarding the liability for damage caused by genetically modified organisms and soil pollution, the issue of standing and its relationship with international civil liability conventions that cover environmental harm, in particular the ones dealing with oil pollution. GMO damage is likewise examined against the backdrop of developments at the global level, i.e. the emerging liability regime under the Cartagena Protocol. The book also addresses the issue of who can be held liable for damage covered by the Directive (operator liability), the available defences and its relation to the general principles of EC Environmental Law, notably the polluter-pays principle and the precautionary principle. Given the fact that the Directive is partly based on US and Member State law, a comparison is made with relevant US federal laws, namely the US Oil Pollution Act and CERCLA, as well as with the law of some Member States (Germany and the United Kingdom). A scientific paper considers by way of case study complex questions of proof of causation of (environmental) damage caused by arsenic.

For further details of this publication or our other international trade titles please visit the website

Added to Upcoming Events:
* 23-27 January 2006, European FEDRE Forum “Climate Changes: Energy and Mobility”, Geneva, Switzerland
The theme of the January 2006 European Forum will be “Climatic Changes: Energy and Mobility”. FEDRE realizes that warming is the result of both natural evolution and human activities. FEDRE is indeed convinced that slowing it down and reducing its negative impacts is everyone’s concern – from the political and industrial worlds to the common citizen – and that it requires regional and local, but also worldwide and national action.
More info:

* 23 February 2006, Preparing For Emissions Trading, London, UK
The event is organised by ENDS in order to gain insights and strategies for managing and achieving obligations under emission trading schemes while remaining competitive. For more information and to book, visit

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)