EEL News service 2008/3, 7 February 2008

4th Annual Brussels Climate Change Conference
The Centre for European Policy Studies
26th & 27th February, Management Centre Europe, Brussels

After a series of high profile events related to climate change throughout 2007 such as the G8 summit or the major economies meeting, the climate change negotiations during the COP13 in Bali have accepted a roadmap for the negotiations for a post-2012 climate change agreement. After taking stock of the state of negotiations, this joint CEPS/Epsilon conference will explore the key issues for the post-2012 agreement.

For more information and to register, please go to, email, or call James Wilmott on +44 (0) 2920 894 757.
Please note: EEL readers save €150 off the fee for attendance. Please use the discount code EEL2008 to qualify.

Added to Case Law, ECJ

C-264/07 Commission vs. Greece
ECJ 31-01-2008, not yet reported
On 31 January 2008 Greece was condemned by the ECJ for violating Articles 5(1) and 15(2) of Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. Greece omitted to carry out an assessment on the impact of human activities on surface and ground waters and to submit summary reports in respect of certain river basin districts.
Sector: Water

C-147/07 Commission vs. France
ECJ 31-01-2008, not yet reported
The European Court of Justice ruled on 31 January 2008 that France had failed to comply with Article 4 of Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption. According to the judgment, the drinking water of three French departments exceeded the chemical parameters for nitrates and pesticides laid down by the Directive.
Sector: Water

C-69/07 Commission vs. Italy
ECJ 31-01-2008, not yet reported
A judgment of the ECJ issued on 31 January 2008 declared that Italy had failed to properly implement Directive 2003/35/EC providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment. In fact, Italy hasn’t transposed the Directive into its national legislation before 25 June 2005, the deadline set in Article 6 of the Directive.
Sector: Water
C-236/07 Sumitomo Chemical Agro Europe vs. Commission
ECJ 23-01-2008
In an order delivered on 23 January 2008, the ECJ dismissed the appeal of Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo against an order of the President of the Court of First Instance of 26 February 2007. The company had initially lodged an action at the CFI for the annulment of Directive 2006/132/EC amending Council Directive 91/414/EECD placing a ban on procymidone, a pesticide produced by Suomito, as of 30 June 2008, and subsequently in this case an application of interim measures in order to suspend the application of the Directive as long as the case is ruled upon. The CFI decided that interim measures were not justified because of lack of urgency, which the ECJ agreed with and dismissed the appeal.
Sector: Nature

Added to Sectors, General

* Numerous Member States to face green infringement disputes
The European Commission announced a new wave of legal actions against a number of Member States who failed to comply with different acts of EU environmental legislation. France was sent a second written warning of failure to define sensitive areas in the context of Directive 91/271/EEC on Urban Waste Water Treatment, for which France was already condemned by the ECJ on 23 September 2004 in Case C-280/02. In case, France is not responding satisfactorily to the warning, the Commission may ask the ECJ to impose fines on France.
The Commission also lodged two cases against Greece. First for hazardous waste management and consequently a violation of the Waste Framework Directive (75/442/EEC) and second for violation of Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds. According to the Commission, Greece hasn’t given to designated SPAs an appropriate legal protection regime that is capable of achieving the conservation objectives of the species and habitats concerned. Belgium and Estonia are brought before the ECJ for failure to transpose correctly Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues.

* EU Member States placed on global environmental scale
The 2008 environmental performance index (EPI), presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos on 30 January 2008 painted a quite mixed picture regarding EU Member States, with Sweden and Finland being in the top five but the Czech Republic occupying the 68th place and Romania lagging behind on the 83rd place. The EPI list is drawn up by Columbia and Yale Universities, by comparing country results in terms of environment and health and ecosystem vitality.

* EU Ombudsman emphasises the importance of green NGO work
The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, expressed his appreciation of the work of non-governmental organisations, which have been very efficient in pointing out maladministration cases of EU institutions, with almost 1000 complaints received in the past ten years. In a more recent submission, two Polish environmental NGOs complained about the European Investment Banks failure to comply with the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive during flood reconstruction and repair works in Poland in 2001.

Added to Sectors, Waste

* EEA Briefing 1/2008 on municipal waste management
The European Environment Agency concluded a significant improvement in EU countries’ municipal waste management in its study published on 31 January 2008. The study projects a more than 80% decrease by 2020 in net greenhouse gas emissions from municipal waste, compared to the late 1980s. According to the EEA, this achievement is a result of an increasing recovery of waste, such as recycling and incineration combined with energy production, in addition to a successful diversion of waste away from landfill. Nonetheless, the EEA warns of a 25% growth of the volume of municipal waste, which can undermine this positive trend.

Added to Sectors, Climate Change
* Carbon capture and storage included in EU ETS
On 23 January 2008 the European Commission acknowledged the emerging importance of the contribution of CSS technologies to reducing EU emissions by 50% in 2050 by proposing a legal framework for the use of carbon capture and storage. The proposed Directive on the geological storage of carbon dioxide regulates the permissions that are required for the exploration of CSS and the operation of storage facilities. CO2 captured and stored will be credited as not emitted under the Emissions Trading Scheme; nonetheless, the use of CSS is not mandatory at this point.
National Pages

The following national pages have been updated: Austria, Denmark, Italy and Romania

Added to National pages, Austria

* Landfill regulation implementation complete
On 29 January 2008 the Austrian environmental and economic ministers announced the completion of the implementation of Directive 99/31/EC on the landfill of waste into national law by a national Regulation. The main changes of Austrian law involve the basic characterisation of waste, the assessment of conformity in case of regularly occurring waste – the so called “waste streams” – and the examination of waste received at the landfill.

Added to National pages, Denmark

* OECD reports on Danish environmental policy
The report released by OECD on Denmark’s environmental performance on 25 January 2008 provided an all in all positive review: Denmark has set a good example in observing green impacts while ensuring economic growth. Nonetheless, Denmark, according to the report, should increase its efforts on the fields of transport, marine protection and greenhouse gas emission reduction. The report also criticised the level of international co-operation, which is in light of the upcoming COP meeting of 2009 a particularly important remark.

Added to National pages, Italy

* Italy will receive second written warning concerning Campania waste
The European Commission announced on 31 January 2008 that it will send a final written warning to Italy over the waste crisis in the Campania region, following the first written warning of 27 June 2007. Bearing in mind the urgent nature of the situation, Italy was given one month to reply to the warning instead of the usual two months. Should Italy’s waste management continue to fail to comply with the European standards, the country faces legal actions before the European Court of Justice.

Added to National pages, Romania

* Romania improves its green performance
Romania amended its environmental taxing rules since it met the disapproval of the European Commission on grounds of being discriminatory towards vehicles manufactured abroad. The new taxing regime will impose less charge on old vehicles than new ones, as the latter pollute for a longer time. Romania is endeavouring to increase its green credits also by discouraging the use of plastic bags. According to an announcement made by Attila Korodi, Romanian Minister of the Environment on 18 January 2008, the system, in which supermarkets offer them for free is about to be abandoned.
Added to Book reviews

European Environmental Law (3rd edition)
Prof. Jan H. Jans and Dr. Hans H.B. Vedder, 496 pages, €52
With a foreword by environmental commissioner Stavros Dimas
Europa Law Publishing, Groningen 2008
This third edition of the leading monograph on European environmental law has been completely updated and revised to cover the latest developments up until the fall of 2007. It will, as its predecessors, be a valuable source of information for both practitioners and academics.

News and events
Added to Events

* Second International Conference on Health & Biodiversity
The conference will aim at advancing dialogue and collaboration across sectors on issues linking biodiversity with human health and well-being, and highlight practical cross-sectoral and holistic approaches to addressing these issues.
Location: Galway, Ireland
Date: 25-28 February 2008

* The Future of European Environmental Law
This conference will mark the publication of the third edition of Prof. Jan H. Jans European Environmental Law.In connection with the book the connection will discuss the changes in law and policy that are necessary to respond adequately to the threats to the environment in the years to come.
Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Date: 16 May 2008

* State Aid for Environmental Protection
This 2-day seminar introduces the new state aid guidelines for environmental protection and the objectives and developments of the European Union’s environmental policy. This is followed by an in-depth focus on specific issues which are covered by the guidelines as well as will include a forum for open discussions with Commission representatives and outside experts.
Location: Maastricht, The Netherlands
Date: 14-15 February 2008

Added to Vacancies

* Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) – Policy Analyst
IEEP seeks for a suitable candidate to undertake policy research and analysis on issues related to EU biodiversity policy, as a member of the Institute’s biodiversity and nature conservation research team.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 20 February 2008

* United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – Programme Evaluation and Management Officer, P4
The successful candidate will coordinate activities related to programme monitoring, evaluation and implementation within the Sustainable Development Mechanisms (SDM) Programme by monitoring of the programme performance.
Location: Bonn, Germany
Deadline: 20 February 2008

* European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) – Senior Legal Officer
The (temporary agent) position will be part of the European Union Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) Task Force. He/she will be entrusted with the preparation of contracts, the provision of legal assistance for tendering process and the liaison with legal experts.
Location, Lisbon, Portugal
Deadline: 29 February 2008

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

Leonardo Massai (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Marianna Kondas (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)

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