Added to Case law, ECJ:
* C-459/03, Commission v. Ireland
Opinion of 18-01-2006, nyr
Advocate General Poiares Maduro concluded that Ireland breached the EC and Euratom Treaties by asking a UN body to intervene in its dispute with the UK over that country’s Sellafield nuclear plant. Dublin argues that the plant pollutes the Irish sea and contravenes environmental regulations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos). It lodged a case with the Convention’s tribunal in 2001. The tribunal accepted the case but then halted proceedings amid uncertainty over its legal standing. The ECJ should indeed be Ireland’s only recourse according to the AG: “Member states are not allowed to act outside the [EC/Euratom] context simply because they consider that such a course of action would be more appropriate”.. If the advisor’s opinion is backed by the ECJ Ireland would be forced to drop its case at the UN tribunal.
* C-161/04, Austria v. European Parliament and Council
Opinion of 26-01-2006, nyr
Austria might be heading for yet another legal defeat over its “ecopoints” scheme to regulate emissions from freight vehicles using European transit corridors on its territory. In his opinion, Advocate General Leendert Geelhoed has dismissed Vienna’s challenge to an interim ecopoints regime adopted by the EC two years ago. Three years ago Austria did win the first case in this long-running dispute, but that concerned just a minor aspect of the scheme. Since then, however, it has lost or been forced to withdraw three other cases (see inter alia Cases C-356/01, C-445/00 and the most recent case C-320/03).
* T-94/04, EEB and Others v. Commission
CFI 28-11-2005, nyr
Paraquat has been banned in Sweden since 1983 but was reauthorized by the EU in 2003. The Court found that the applicants were not individually concerned by the contested act. This ruling prompted furious Swedish objections and an appeal to the European Court of Justice.
* C-143/05, Commission v. Belgium
ECJ 2-02-2006, nyr, not yet available in English
The European Court of Justice has condemned Belgium for failing to transpose Directive 2002/84/EC on Maritime Safety and Pollution Prevention. Belgium should have implemented the Directive into national law by November 2004. The Directive revises a series of earlier laws to bring up to date their references to international agreements in the sector. It also introduces a mechanism allowing Member States to adapt to the latest version of international Conventions before EU legislation incorporates the changes.
* Commission Directive 2006/8/EC of 23 January 2006 amending, for the purposes of their adaptation to technical progress, Annexes II, III and V to Directive 1999/45/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous preparations
The European Commission has adopted changes to EC rules on classifying and labelling mixtures of chemical substances. A new directive introduces new warning labels for paints and varnishes containing lead, products containing chlorine, preparations containing cadmium and cements containing chromium, among other technical changes. The directive amends a 1999 law on chemical preparations.
* Parliament and Council Regulation No 166/2006 concerning the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register and amending Council Directives 91/689/EEC and 96/61/EC of 18 January 2006
The Regulation expands the EU’s existing industrial pollution inventory into a wider European pollutant release and transfer register (PRTR). Annual reporting, based on 2007 data, is due to start under the PRTR scheme in 2009.
* Council Decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the UN-ECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers of 2 December 2005 (2006/61/EC)
The Decision accompanying the Regulation 166/2006 ratifies on behalf of the EU a related UN protocol on PRTR.
Added to Legislation, International Treaties:
* Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians
UN convention on protection and sustainable development of Europe’s mountainous Carpathian region. Seven countries, four of them EU Member States, are covered by this Convention: the Czech republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia-Montenegro and Romania.
* Report on the environmental aspects of sustainable development (2005/2051(INI)) by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
The EU strategy for sustainable development must be strengthened and given teeth, the Committee of the European Parliament proposes. It calls for clear long-term measures and objectives, backed by a monitoring and evaluation system. On the basis of this document a resolution on sustainable development has been drawn up. The draft resolution calls on EU governments to introduce “rapid measures” to return distribution among modes of transport to their 1998 levels by 2010, as well as making “profound” transport policy changes.
Added to Policy Areas, Sustainable development:
* Commission Report Assessing Opportunities for ICT to Contribute to Sustainable Development
The information and communication technology (ICT) sector can contribute massively to sustainable development but needs help from regulators to realise the gains, according to a group of stakeholders aiming to stimulate action in the field. Timo Mäkelä of the European Commission’s DG Environment said the EU’s heightened focus on energy efficiency and environmental technologies gave the ICT sector a “genuine opportunity to have an impact on… policy”. Peter Johnston of the DG Information Society said that new Commission research showed ICT could boost sustainability in five areas: energy, mobility, social inclusion, health and waste.
Added to Policy Areas, Water:
* Proposal for Parliament and Council Directive COM(2006) 15 final of 18 January 2006 on the assessment and management of floods
EU member states will be required to publicly designate areas of high flood risk and take measures to reduce and manage these risks under this draft directive. The measure aims to limit environmental and economic damage from floods. Flooding is an increasing problem in Europe, according to the European Commission, which calculates that there have been more than 100 damaging floods since 1998. The key measures proposed are mandatory flood risk assessments for river basins and coastal zones by all member states. Governments should then create publicly available flood risk maps and draw up management plans aimed at preventing, avoiding and preparing for flooding. Implementation of the directive will be coordinated with that of the existing water framework directive. Where river basins cross international borders, governments will have to coordinate their actions. None of the envisaged measures will be required quickly, however. The Commission proposes a deadline for first national flood risk assessments of three years after entry into force – so 2009 at the earliest. Flood risk maps would be required by the end of 2013 and the first flood risk management plans by the end of 2015.
* Commission Communication (draft) COM(2006) yyy On the Promotion of Inland Waterway Transport “Naiades” An Integrated European Action Programme for Inland Waterway Transport
The EU should move more freight via inland waterways to reduce congestion and environmental damage associated mainly with road transport, according to the European Commission. It launched an action plan “Naiades” including a series of measures designed to better exploit the sector’s market potential. Among these, it promised legislation on engine emissions in 2007, waste disposal in 2009 and fuel quality at an undetermined date.
Added to Policy Areas, General Policy documents:
* Using the market for cost-effective environmental policy (EEA Report No 1/2006)
This report presents an assessment of the main and most recent developments in the use of market-based instruments in European environmental policy. The report covers a range of instruments which are used as tools to achieve environmental objectives. These instruments include: environmental taxes, charges and deposit-refund systems, environmental tax reform, emissions trading schemes, subsidies, and liability and compensation requirements. The report finds a steadily growing application of market-based instruments across Europe. It also identifies the need for cost-effective policy measures in order to make authorities more aware of the advantages of implementing MBIs. The report “Market based instruments for environmental policy in Europe” (see below) is a longer version of this report.
* Market-based instruments for environmental policy in Europe (EEA Technical report No 8)
This report presents an assessment of the main and most recent developments in the use of market-based instruments in European environmental policy. The report covers a range of instruments which are used as tools to achieve environmental objectives. These instruments include: environmental taxes, charges and deposit-refund systems, environmental tax reform, emissions trading schemes, subsidies, and liability and compensation requirements. The report finds a steadily growing application of market-based instruments across Europe. It also identifies the need for cost-effective policy measures in order to make authorities more aware of the advantages of implementing MBIs.
The report “Using the market for cost-effective environmental policy” (see above) is a shorter version of this report.
* Agriculture and environment in EU-15 – the IRENA indicator report (EEA Report No 6/2005)
This report provides an assessment of the progress made in the development and interpretation of the agri-environmental indicators identified in COM (2000) 20 during the IRENA operation. The report builds on more than 35 detailed indicator fact sheets.
* Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (EIA Directive), as amended: Clarification of the application af Article 2 (3) of the EIA Directive (Report of the Commission)
The European Commission has released guidance on exceptional cases in which major infrastructure projects can be exempted from the normally mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA) rules. In a new report, the Commission notes that the 1985 EIA directive allows for exceptional exemptions without defining what this means. The guidance is meant to fill this gap, pending any future clarification by the courts. According to the guidance report, given the time necessary to carry out EIAs, exemptions can be appropriate where projects are urgent. But even in this case, Member States must show that human life or national security would be at risk if a project were delayed. Projects may also be exempted for confidentiality reasons, e.g., if the disclosure of information on the location of rare species would put it in danger.
* Radioactive effluents from nuclear power stations and nuclear fuel reprocessing sites in the European Union, 1999 – 2003
The European Commission published a detailed inventory of radioactive emissions to air and water by all nuclear power stations and fuel reprocessing sites in the EU-15 countries between 1999 and 2003. The report is the eleventh in a long-running series. It contains a wealth of data but neither aggregates releases nor comments on their radiological significance. An assessment of trends in radiation doses to the general population should be published by the end of 2007, the report notes.
Added to Policy Areas, Climate Change:
* Commission Communication Fourth National Communication From the European Community Under The UN Framework Convention On Climate Change COM(2006) 40 final of 08 February 2006
The second phase of the European Climate Change Programme was already launched in October 2005 and will include carbon capture and storage, passenger road transport, aviation and strategies to adapt to the effects of climate change. These policies provide strong, long-term signals to industry, Member State governments and the wider international community that the EU is committed to tackling Climate Change and expects all of its institutions, businesses and citizens to play their part. The European Commission is committed to the implementation of these measures to combat Climate Change, whilst also considering the impacts on the economic development of the EU and its citizens’ well being. Specifically, the Commission will review progress and explore new actions to systematically exploit cost effective emission reduction options in synergy with the Lisbon strategy.
Added to National Pages, France:
* Financial penalty for France’s failure to comply with a judgment of the European Court of Justice
In a ruling C-304/02, taken on 12 July 2005, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered France to pay a lump sum of € 20 million and a periodic 6-month penalty of € 57,761,250 running from that day, for failing to comply with a 1991 Court ruling on serious failings in its enforcement of fisheries rules. The European Commission’s task was to assess if, at the end of the 6-month period, (i.e. on 12 January 2006) France had fully complied with its Court obligations. The Commission decided, on 1 March 2006, that despite progress, that this was not yet the case. France will, therefore, have to pay the € 57 million penalty payment. The Commission is committed to helping France in her endeavours to ensure that, by next July, all the necessary measures are taken to fully meet her obligations. According to French Minister of Agriculture, France is going to contest this measure.
* European commission press release (see the website)
* French agriculture ministry’s press release (see the website)
Added to Job Postings:
* Meurs Juristen (for Dutch speaking persons)
Meurs Juristen B.V. is een zelfstandig bedrijf binnen de Meurs Groep. Zij levert voornamelijk juridische diensten op het gebied van het milieurecht, ruimtelijke ordening, het bestuursrecht en het Europees recht. Een deskundig team van juristen wordt ingezet op opdrachten bij de rijksoverheid, provincies, gemeenten en bedrijven. Daarnaast worden belangen van particulieren behartigd. Kijk voor meer informatie over ons bedrijf op www.meursjuristen.nl.
Bij ons is plaats voor:
1. een accountmanager met juridische affiniteit voor 3 dagen per week
2. een fulltime bestuursrechtjurist met minimaal vijf jaar ervaring in het bestuursrecht en/of het opstellen van wetten en andere regelgeving
3. een fulltime junior bestuursrechtjurist bij voorkeur afgestudeerd in het bestuursrecht en/of ruimtelijke ordening
Kijk op http://groep.meursgroep.nl/vacatures voor meer informatie over de inhoud van de vacatures. Ben je geïnteresseerd? Stuur dan je CV met motivatie naar firstname.lastname@example.org t.a.v. mr. H.S. de Vries, directeur Meurs Juristen of bel: 0348-487481
Added to Events:
* 7 – 9 March 2006, IRWM, Dublin, Ireland.
This is Ireland’s national water, waste, recycling and environmental management exhibitions. Taking place every 18 months, the exhibitions deal with improving environmental impact management.
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)
Marco van der Harst, Julien J.M. Simon
(T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)