EEL News Service 2006/1, 19 January 2006

Added to Case law, ECJ:
* C-118/05 Commission v. Portugal
ECJ 12-01-2006, nyr, not yet available in English
Portugal was sanctioned for failing to transpose the water framework Directive 2000/60/EC.

* C-85/05 Commission v. Italy
ECJ 12-01-2006, nyr, not yet available in English
Italy was sanctioned for failing to transpose the water framework Directive 2000/60/EC.

* C-139/04 Commission v. Italy
ECJ 12-01-2006, nyr, not yet available in English
Italy was found in breach of two directives on air quality assessment 96/62/EC and EU limit values for air  pollutants 1999/30/EC.

* C-107/05 Commission v. Finland
ECJ 12-01-2006, nyr, not yet available in English
Finland has failed to transpose the EU greenhouse gas emission trading scheme Directive 2003/87/EC in the Aland Islands in the south-west of the country.

* C-37/05 Commission v. United Kingdom
ECJ 12-01-2006, nyr
UK was found to have incorrectly transposed the Directive 85/337/EEC on the environmental impact assessment of public and private projects, amended by Directive 97/11/EC.

* C-98/03 Commission v. Germany
ECJ 10-01-2006, nyr
The German government was condemned by the ECJ for incorrectly transposing the EU habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. The Court found Germany guilty on six counts, including failure to require assessment of possible impacts on protected areas of certain development projects and failure to prohibit non-deliberate destruction of animal breeding sites or resting places. The government was also blamed for not banning capture of three protected species of fish in Bremen and Brandenburg states.

* C-94/03 Commission v. Council
ECJ 10-01-2006, nyr
By its ruling ECJ annuled Council Decision 2003/106/EC concerning the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade (see comment to the next case).

* C-178/03 Commission v. Parliament
ECJ 10-01-2006, nyr
By this ruling ECJ annuled Parliament and Council Regulation No 304/2003 concerning the export and import of dangerous chemicals. This decision is linked to the case C-94/03 (see above). The dispute is the latest in a long series concerning the legal base of environment-related EU legislation. The EU decision ratifying the Rotterdam
convention and a regulation implementing it in Europe were both introduced by the Commission as commercial policy measures arguing that their predominant aim was to regulate imports and exports, while both Council and
Parliament decided instead that the principal goal was environmental protection. ECJ ruled that the laws
should continue in effect until they are redrafted on a dual legal base of commercial policy and environmental protection.

Added to Policy Areas, Air:

* Proposal for a Parliament and Council Regulation on type approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions and on access to vehicle repair information, amending Directive 72/306/EEC and Directive ../../EC COM(2005) 683 final, 2005/aaaa (COD)
Transportation accounts now for 26% of carbon dioxide emissions in the EU, of which 85% comes from road vehicles. Without co-ordinated and vigorous action, carbon dioxide emissions from road traffic could increase by 40% by 2010. This is a proposal for next generation EU vehicle emission standards. The plan for “Euro 5” norms is backed by draft legislation requiring one-quarter of public spending on vehicles such as buses to be directed to “clean vehicles”. For diesel cars, the limit for ten micron particles (PM10) will be 5 mg/km, compared with 25 mg/km under Euro 4. Maximum nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions will be 200 mg/km, down from 250 mg/km under Euro 4. For petrol cars, hydrocarbon emissions will be restricted to 75 mg/km, down from 100 mg/km. And NOx will be limited to 60 mg/km, down from 80 mg/km. Sport utility vehicles over 2.5 tonnes will for the first time be covered by the same limits as all other cars.

Added to Policy Areas, Sustainable development:

* Communication from the Commission Thematic Strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources COM(2005) yyy final
The strategy emphasises the importance of integration of environmental concerns into other policies that affect environmental impacts of natural resources use but does not attempt to implement specific initiatives in areas that are already covered by well-established policies. It sets out an analytical framework with a view to allowing the environment impact of resource use to be routinely factored into public policymaking. The commission proposes an action plan with a time horizon of 25 years, based initially on five non-legislative actions: 1) wider application of life-cycle thinking in policymaking; 2) creation of a ‘data centre’ for natural
resources, to help fill information gaps; 3) creation of indicators tracking trends in resource use; 4)+5) spread of best resource use practices within the EU and internationally. A ‘high-level forum’ and, finally, an ‘international panel’ will work with the United Nations’ environment programme to “assess and provide information” on the global aspects of resource use.

* Annexes to the Thematic Strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources

* Communication from the Commission On the review of the Sustainable Development Strategy. A platform for action COM(2005) yyy final
Research and development as well as more “joined-up” decision making have a central role to play in delivering the strategy, the commission said.  The review puts an emphasis on policies that have a “positive knock-on effect”.  These include renewable energy policies, which reduce CO2 emissions while increasing energy security and promoting rural development. It identifies key priorities such as “greener” cars and energy efficiency in buildings, and introduces a follow-up mechanism.  The commission will now submit a progress report every two years. The strategy also calls on member states to issue a review of their national strategies by the end of 2006. They are invited to set up advisory councils which would have an input on national and EU progress reports.

Added to Policy Areas, Waste:

* Communication from the Commission Taking sustainable use of resources forward: A Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste COM (2005) yyy final
The strategy proposes a series of actions over the next three years:
2006:Review of car recycling targets under the ELV directive;  EU sources say the commission is preparing to propose a relaxation of the 85% car recycling target for 2015 set in the 2000 end-of-life vehicles directive.  Report on implementation of the 1994 packaging waste directive; Guidelines on when by-products should not be considered waste, “based on jurisprudence of the European court of justice”; Guidelines for applying life-cycle thinking to managin biodegradable waste diverted from landfill; Consolidation of three directives on waste from the titanium dioxide industry into a single legal text.
2007: Proposal to clarify and extend the EU’s integrated pollution prevention and control directive (IPPC) to additional waste management activities (as part of general review of IPPC law); Guidelines on minimum environmental standards for permitting installations not covered by IPPC, and guidelines on best available techniques for mixing hazardous wastes; Proposal to revise the 1986 sewage sludge in agriculture directive;
Guidelines on making life-cycle tools easily usable in waste policymaking; Assessment of the “state of play” on EU waste policy and the need for additional measures to stimulate the move to a European recycling society.
2008: Review of targets under the 2002 waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive; Adoption of first set of quality standards for defining when certain waste flows cease to be waste, starting with compost and recycled aggregates.

Added to Policy Areas, General:

* Communication from the Commission on Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment, COM(2005) 718 final, 11 January 2006
Each European city can decide whether to take action to improve their environmental performance. The strategy sets out a range of initiatives, including technical guidance, best practice exchange, financial support and training. It is essential that member states exploit the opportunities offered at EU level for the benefit of local authorities, the strategy says. Local administrations are encouraged to follow in the footsteps of cities like Nantes in France, which has implemented a comprehensive overhaul of its transport services, and Copenhagen in Denmark, which has introduced a city-level environmental management system.
Proposed support measures include using the EU new Life+ regulation to support capacity-building for local and regional authorities and the funding of regeneration projects with EU structural aid. The strategy also calls for better cooperation between administrative bodies at the EU, national and local levels, and for close synergies between air quality, transport and noise policies in urban areas.

* Commission Communication The Commission’s contribution to the period of reflection and beyond: Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate COM(2005) 494 finalof 13 October 2005
The Commission has proposed a Plan D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate, not as a rescue operation for the Constitution, but to stimulate a wider debate between the European Union’s democratic institutions and citizens. It has to be seen as complementary to the already existing or proposed initiatives and programmes such as those in the field of education, youth, culture and promoting active European citizenship.

* Environmental Protection Expenditure in Europe by public sector and specialised producers 1995-2002 (Eurostat Report)
According to EU statistical agency Eurostat, public authorities in the 25 countries that now make up the EU spent €51bn on environmental protection in 2002. The latest in its statistics in focus series also reports spending on waste and wastewater treatment, which in some countries remains a public activity. Most public sector environmental spending in Europe is for administration, though just over one quarter was classed as waste management in 2002.  The total equates to 0.5% of EU-25 GDP, or €112 per capita. “Specialised producers” of environmental services – where counted separately from public authorities – are reported by Eurostat to have spent €75bn in the EU-25 in 2001, or 0.8% of GDP.  In comparison, environmental spending by productive industries was €38bn in the same year.

Added to Dossiers/Links, REACH Dossier and Policy Areas, Dangerous Substances:

* Proposal for a Parliament and Council Directive amending Council Directive 67/548/EEC in order to adapt it to Regulation (EC) of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals
This text agreed by Council mid-December 2005, now must go through legal-linguistic checks before being adopted as a formal common position early in the year 2006. The European parliament will then begin its second reading of law. The agreement covers the main Reach regulation, plus an amendment to the 1967 directive on classification and labelling of dangerous substances.

* Presidency Proposal for a Parliament and Council Regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency and amending Directive 1999/45/EC
The purpose of this Regulation is to ensure a high level of protection of health and the environment as well as the free circulation of substances on the internal market while enhancing competitiveness and innovation. This document lays down provisions on substances and preparations. These provisions shall apply to the manufacture, placing on the market or use of such substances on their own, in preparations or in articles and to the placing on the market of preparations, if so stated.

Added to Dossiers/Links, Council Conclusions:

* Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council(15 and 16 December 2005)   *
The council welcomed the European commission’s latest proposals for simplifying EU legislation. The council also welcomed a revised system for impact assessment of all major EU legislative proposals. Ministers and MEPs should “make full use of commission impact assessments as a tool to inform political decision making”, it stated. Thirdly, the council welcomed progress in assessing administrative costs imposed by laws and called on the European commission to begin measuring burdens as part of all legislative impact assessments from January 2006.  It also asked the commission to prepare the way for measurable targets to reduce burdens in specific sectors. “Europe needs economic reforms, social modernisation and sustainable environmental policies”, read the official council conclusions. On other topics, the council welcomed the commission’s recent review of the EU sustainable development strategy.  The council welcomed a slew of recent commission reports on climate change and said it would consider the EU’s longer-term strategy in the second half of next year, “as appropriate”. It welcomed the commission’s stated intention to propose legislation by the end of 2006 to bring aviation into the EU carbon emission trading scheme. After difficult negotiations EU leaders agreed an outline budget for the bloc for 2007-13 of just over €862bn, or 1.045% of gross nationalincome.  The ‘financial perspectives’ include a big projected increase in research funding for innovation and growth, which should be 75% higher by 2013 than in 2006. The overall budget for competitiveness, within which research sits, should grow by 7.5% annually in real terms.  The agreement includes sums for decommissioning Soviet-era nuclear power stations in Slovakia, Lithuania and Bulgaria. The budget’s two biggest components are ‘cohesion’ and regional funding (€308bn over the seven years) and the common agricultural policy (€293bn).  The commission has been invited to undertake a fundamental review of all aspects of the budget by 2008/9.

Added to National Pages, Germany, Policies:

* EU Constitution:
Mrs. Merkel, new German chancellor elected 22 November 2005, said she believes the enlarged EU still needs a constitution, despite its rejection in polls in France and the Netherlands earlier this year: “We may allow a pause for further consideration and second thoughts but we have made it very clear that we are willing to make our contribution to whatever is necessary to see the constitution come into force. […] The pause for reflection is not an excuse to set aside the constitution. We need the constitution. We need to reinforce the feeling that difficult problems can be solved.”

Added to Events:
* 16-17 March 2006, Bioenergy Europe 2006, London, UK
Get up to date on the latest EU legislation and incentive schemes that aim to produce a dramatic increase in the use of biomass and biofuels across the 25 member states. Gain insights and analysis from specialists from organisations across Europe.

* 7 February 2006, The Scottish Energy & Environment Conference, Glasgow, UK
This annual event, on behalf of Scottish Executive, provides the opportunity for delegates to update themselves on the latest products and services, enabling their companies to benefit from improved energy efficiency or better environmental performance.
Added to Job postings:

* Policy officer (2 vacancies)
T&E – Two Policy Officers T&E is the principal environmental NGO campaigning specifically on transport at EU level.
Job profile:
Candidates should meet the following criteria:
• Highly motivated, with a minimum of three years relevant professional experience preferably in transport or environmental policy or other EU policy work. Some experience of shipping, infrastructure investment or noise emissions issues would be an advantage;
• Ability to quickly synthesize technical, economic, industrial and political issues;
• Confidence to engage and influence policymakers, industry representatives and other stakeholders;
• Excellent communication and presentation skills;
• Fluent written and spoken English; Must speak at least one other EU language;
• Excellent interpersonal and team-working skills, flexibility, and reliability;
• Willingness to travel;
Candidates should be able to show that they have the ability to:
• develop and run multi-year projects and campaigns from scratch and with minimum supervision
• research complex policy issues and commission studies and reports
• communicate T&E’s position to policy makers, the media, and our international network
• build up a network of NGO, academic, industry and government contacts
• work across two or more policy areas, giving support to colleagues wherever necessary

Both vacancies are for full time, permanent positions. Please send your CV and a motivation letter explaining how you meet the above criteria to Applications must be in English. Applications should reach T&E no later than 16 January 2006. More information on:

* Spain national page
Some related ECJ/ECHR cases are added, as well as environment-related articles from Spanish Constitution

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)