* C-60/05, WWF Italia and Others
Opinion 16-02-2006, not yet available in English
Advocate General Leendert Geelhoed has issued his opinion on the interpretation of the EC Wild Birds Directive 79/409/EEC involving Italy. In this case he broadly supports the Italian animal conservation groups in a legal dispute with the Lombardy regional administration over derogations from bans on hunting chaffinches and bramblings.
* C-191/05, Commission v. Portugal
Opinion 23-02-2006, not yet available in English
Advocate General Juliane Kokott says Portugal in lifting the special protection status from 3,000 hectares of an important grassland bird nesting area in 2002 violated the EC Wild Birds Directive 79/409/EEC.
* C-215/04, Pedersen
ECJ 16-02-2006, nyr
The ECJ ruled that the member state authorities must prove there is a risk of harm to the environment or health if they want to block shipments of waste to other EC states. The judgment adds to EC case law on the waste shipments regulation, a revised version of which was agreed by EU in 2005, but has yet to enter force. The case was referred to the ECJ by a Danish court after local waste collector Marius Pedersen challenged the Danish Environment Agency’s refusal to authorise a shipment of electronic waste to a treatment facility in Germany. As for the burden of proof, the Court stated that “It is for the [national authority] to show the risks to human health and the environment which recovery in the state of destination would entail”. Applicants for a shipment authorisation need only provide information on the conditions under which waste will be recovered” and do not have to prove the treatment is equivalent to that legally required in the state of dispatch. The ECJ also ruled that describing the consignment as “electronic waste” was “abstract and imprecise” and that the notifier had to give more detailed information on the nature of the waste.
Added to Legislation, Water and Policy Areas, Water Legislation:
* Parliament and Council Directive 2006/7/EC of 15 February 2006 concerning the management of bathing water quality and repealing Directive 76/160/EEC
The 1976 Bathing water directive will be replaced by a new one introducing new water quality categories and setting strict standards for bacterial pollution in coastal and inland waters. Member states must transpose the directive into national law by 24 March 2008. The new health standards take effect in 2015. Standards will be subject to change by 2020, depending on new epidemiological studies. The directive brings down the number of quality tests from nineteen to two, focusing on bacteria that most affect heath: escerichia coli and intestinal enterococchi. The directive does not apply to swimming pools, spas and health resorts. Bathing waters will be classified into four categories ranging from “excellent” to “poor”. Those classed as poor will have to be reviewed every two years compared with three and four years for those with a higher ranking. Beaches with a “poor” rating for five years running face a permanent ban. Member states will be required to display signs at registered bathing sites to indicate water quality, and to provide the public with findings of regular quality tests, made available through the internet.
Added to Policy Areas, Dangerous Substances:
* Commission study: The impact of REACH on the environment and human health (ENV.C.3/SER/2004/0042r)
The environmental and health benefits of the EU’s Reach chemical policy reform will dwarf the economic costs of implementing it, according to the study. Although the contents of this report does not constitute an official position of the European Commission, the first comprehensive estimate of Reach’s benefits tentatively predicts gains worth up to a Euro 4.8 billion annually by 2017. These benefits could accumulate to Euro 95 million over the following over 25 years, the analysis says. This compares to total direct and indirect costs of up to Euro 5 billion over the eleven to fifteen years it will take to introduce Reach.
* Communication from the Commission Report on the implementation of national measures on the coexistence of genetically modified crops with conventional and organic farming COM(2006) 104 final of 9 March 2006
Rules on the coexistence of genetically modified crops with conventional and organic equivalents should continue to be set at national level but must comply with EU guidelines guaranteeing a fair market for all farmers. In a report reviewing coexistence measures taken by EU countries, the Commission said Europe’s limited experience of GM cultivation meant EU-wide legislation still “cannot be justified”. It gave no hint of when EU rules might be feasible but said it would report again on progress in 2008.
Added to Policy Areas, General:
* Commission Green Paper A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy COM(2006) 105 final of 8 March 2006
This is an attempt for the first EU common energy policy, which will aim to reduce environmental impact, boost industrial competitiveness and enhance security of energy supply. According to the Commission’s vision for the new policy, member states would retain sovereignty over which energy sources to use. The aim of the policy is to give a “clear European framework for national decisions on the energy mix”. The policy will be reviewed in 2007 and would result in a “transparent and objective debate” on the future of nuclear energy. Among likely elements of the plan are an EU-wide scheme of tradable white certificates and “more focus” on energy rating and labelling of appliances, vehicles and industrial equipment. There is no mention of the recently adopted energy-using products (EuP) framework directive, under which the Commission is supposed to propose product ecodesign and energy standards. Other initiatives include a “long-term energy efficiency campaign”, with an emphasis on public buildings, plus financial and other mechanisms to stimulate investment in efficiency projects. The EU should also “propose and promote” an international agreement on energy efficiency that would expand the energy star eco-label scheme. On renewables the paper acknowledges that existing non-binding EU targets for a share in overall energy and electricity consumption are unlikely to be met. The EU will need to “meet and indeed go beyond” these targets to achieve the new policy’s aims. Fresh targets and measures will be proposed in a “renewable energy road map” before the 2007 spring council of EU heads of government.
* Communication from the Commission External Action: Thematic Programme For Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources including Energy COM(2006) 20 final of 25 January 2006
In an effort to rationalise and simplify the current legislative framework governing external actions of the Community, the European Commission has proposed a set of six new instruments under the Financial Perspectives 2007 to 2013. Three of the instruments (for humanitarian aid, for stability and for macro-financial assistance) are of a horizontal nature and will respond to particular needs and circumstances. The other three (for preaccession assistance, for supporting the European neighbourhood and partnership policy and for development cooperation and economic cooperation) are designed to implement specific policies and have a defined geographical coverage. In future, these instruments will provide the basic legislative acts for Community expenditure in support of external cooperation programmes, including appropriate thematic programmes, and will replace, inter alia, the existing thematic regulations. A thematic programme for the environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy, is proposed to address the environmental dimension of development and other external policies as well as to help promote the European Union’s environmental and energy policies abroad.
Added to Policy Areas, Nature, Agriculture:
* Communication from the Commission On Improving The Economic Situation In The Fishing Industry COM(2006) 103 final of 9 March 2006
According to the document, the EU governments can provide aid for energy efficiency improvements by the fishing industry. It is aimed at helping firms struggling with high oil prices and depleted stocks to stay in business.
Added to Dossiers/Links, Francovich Follow-Up
Several parts of this highly informative dossier have been updated. Added were: Commission v. Italy, Paul and Others; Ten Kate Holding Musselkanaal by the ECJ; Factortame Follow-up by English Court of Appeal, Canal Satelite Digital case by Spanish Supreme Court; Decisions of the Köln High Regional Court, the Austrian constitutional Court, Italian Court of Cassation, Swedish Supreme Court, Oslo First instance Tribunal. Further, the pending cases were updated. The new coordinator of this dossier is dr Marie-Pierre Granger, Central European University, Budapest, who takes over this tasks from Gerrit Betlem.
Added to Dossiers/Links, Environmental Council Conclusions:
* 2713th ENVIRONMENT Council meeting – Brussels – 9 March 2006 (pdf file)
EU environment ministers covered a number of issues ranging from GMOs to a resolution on the future of the EU’s Cafe air quality strategy. Ministers adopted a resolution outlining recommendations for a Spring summit of 2006. Among them they said the EU environmental technologies action plan (Etap) should be “accelerated and intensified” and member states should “consider setting performance targets to create wider demand” for the technologies. A resolution on climate change maps out EU follow-up to December’s Montreal meeting of Kyoto protocol parties, but controversy flared over references to long-term targets to cut greenhouse emissions. The Council held a first policy debate on the European commission’s thematic strategy on waste prevention and recycling. Ministers reaffirmed support for the EU’s waste hierarchy but welcomed the commission’s aim to “complement” it with more decisions made on the basis of life-cycle analysis. In other agenda items the council adopted resolutions outlining the EU position ahead of international negotiations on biodiversity, biosafety and persistent organic pollutants.
Added to Dossiers/Links, EEL Implemetaton:
* Twenty-first annual report on monitoring the application of Community law (2003) COM/2004/ 839
* Twentieth annual report on monitoring the application of Community law (2002) COM/2003/669
* Nighteen annual report on monitoring the application of Community law (2001) COM/2002/324
* Eighteen annual report on monitoring the application of Community law (2000), COM/2001/309 FINAL
* Dutch ministers and leading industry bodies launched early REACH awareness campaign – one of Europe’s first information campaigns to help business prepare for the EU chemical policy Reach. Working within a national framework, industry associations and chambers of commerce should take the message to companies through Holland. Initial support materials will be supplemented by more detailed guidelines and a helpdesk in autumn, when Reach is expected to be finalised. The government reckons the coordinated approach will save Euro 25m in communication costs.
* press release
* questions and answers
Added to Job Postings:
* Chemical experts
As part of the preparatory actions to ensure the effective implementation of REACH the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry in the European Commission is launching this Call for Expression of Interest to constitute four lists of candidates to be recruited as contract agents to be trained in the Commission in preparing for the set up of the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki, Finland. The Agency will be established by the proposed REACH Regulation (COM(2003)644 final) which has recently received a First Reading in Parliament and is also the subject of political agreement by the Council. In the initial phase the Commission will offer to around 40 successful candidates a six month contract starting in or about October 2006. The working experience of at least one/two years, depending on the sector of activity to be selected by the candidate, has to be attested. Post-graduate doctoral studies in the required field, completed or to be completed with the award of the degree at the latest on 31 May 2006, can be counted as being equivalent to work experience of two years. The closing date for dispatch of applications is 21 March 2006. The date on the stamped envelope serves as proof of the date of dispatch.
Added to Events:
* 15-17 March 2006, 6th International Automobile Recycling Congress, Amsterdam, Netherlands
This congress will bring together the various links in the end-of-life vehicle (ELV) recycling chain such
as recyclers, car manufacturers, metal and plastic traders, shredder operators and policy makers from around the world.
* 24 March 2006, Applied Environmental Economics Conference (envecon), London, UK
The fourth annual envecon is organised by the UK Network for Environmental Economists. This year’s sessions are on economic valuation, instruments, appraisal and cultural heritage.
* 27-28 March 2006, Waste Management for Oil & Gas, Thailand
This event will discuss areas in: Corporate Social Accountability for Waste Management in Oil & Gas, Accounting & the Environment and Returning to Earth-Waste Management for Sustainability.
* 28 March 2006, Europe’s Natural Resources, Brussels, Belgium.
On 21 December 2005 the Commission outlined its new approach to its strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources. This half-day event brings together all stakeholders to discuss and question how policy could and should be translated into action at European level.
* 4 April 2006, EIC Conference – Fuelling the Future: Making a Success of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, London, UK
The Conference will discuss the policy framework of the RTFO and its commercial implications for the UK biofuels industry.
* 8-9 May 2006, Current Developments in Community Law, Trier, Germany
The pace of change in Community legislation and jurisprudence is rapid and dynamic. The Academy of European Law’s annual seminar provides an opportunity for practitioners to stay abreast with current developments.
* 8 June 2006, Implementatie van Europese Richtlijnen in Nederland, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Dit seminar zal ingaan op de veelheid aan rapporten inzake de Nederlandse implementatie-praktijk van richtlijnen op met name milieugebied, en de vraag of er in de praktijk verbeteringen merkbaar zijn.
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)