EEL News service 2008/5, 6 March 2008

Added to Case Law, ECJ

C‑2/07 Abraham and Others
ECJ 28-02-2008, not yet reported
On 28 February 2008 the European Court of Justice delivered a preliminary ruling on the operation of an air freight centre at the Belgian Liège-Bierset Airport. The request for a preliminary ruling asked for interpretation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) directive (85/337/EEC). The Court found that the restructuring of the airport does not constitute a ‘project’ within the meaning of the EIA directive. The Court ruled that the national courts have discretion to decide whether the EIA directive applies when deciding in the case in question, which concerns noise pollution claims linked to the works at the Belgian airport.

C-201/06 Commission vs. France
ECJ 21-02-2008, not yet reported
On 21 February 2008 the European Court of Justice declared that France was entitled to demand additional safety assessment of pesticides, even if the importers concerned had already received the approval to access the EU market from another Member State. France has been maintaining a system that would grant a simplified approval procedure only to those products imported from other Member States that have a ‘common origin’ with pesticides already authorised in France. According to the ECJ, contrary to the claims of the Commission, this practice does not restrict the free movement of goods in the EU.

Added to Sectors, General

* Environment Council Meeting – Brussels, 3 March 2008
On 3 March 2008 the Council Environment adopted conclusions on climate change and energy, biodiversity, environmental technologies, sustainable production and consumption and the simplification of environmental legislation. Furthermore, the Council Environment welcomed the climate and energy package tabled by the European Commission on 23 January 2008 and urged the conversion of the proposals in law by early 2009 at the latest. Further discussion and conclusions on the climate and energy proposals will be agreed at the Spring European Council of 13-14 March 2008.

Added to Sectors, Climate Change
* EESC launches private consultation in preparation to Poznan climate summit
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) initiated a public consultation regarding the ongoing negotiations on the post-2012 regime within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The results of the consultation, open until 11 April 2008, will be included in the position paper, which the EESC will present at COP14 and COP/MOP4 to be held from 1 to 12 December 2008 in Poznan, Poland. The EESC intends to contribute to the international debate by presenting the views of the European civil society, focusing on enhanced mitigation, adaptation and technology development and transfer.

* European Commission promotes sustainable competitiveness of forest–based industries
On 27 February 2008 the European Commission presented a plan in the form of a policy paper in order to protect the competitiveness of the EU forestry sector. Communication COM(2008)113 is part of the Commission’s integrated industrial policy and outlines a plan to increase the forestry sector’s competitiveness facing the increased global competition and wood supply availability. The policy paper was prepared in line with the EU climate policy objectives. The European Commission pointed out that in case of no agreement on a global climate agreement; carbon permits under the EU ETS could be allocated to the forestry sector for free. The Commission also suggested to investigate options for carbon storage in harvested wood products.

Added to Sectors, Energy

* Member States challenged over energy efficiency directives
The European Commission initiated legal actions against seven Member States for their failure to comply with two directives ensuring energy efficiency. On 28 February 2008 the Commission announced that it would take the UK and Belgium before the ECJ for failing to properly implement the Energy Performance of Buildings directive (2002/91/EC). On the same day, the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Portugal and Luxembourg were sent reasoned opinions for omitting to communicate the transposition of the Ecodesign directive (2005/32/EC) into their respective national legal system before the agreed deadline (August 2007).
Added to Sectors, Transport

* EEA scrutinizes transport emissions (EEA Report No 1/2008)
On 3 March 2008 the European Environment Agency (EEA) released a report entitled “Climate for a transport change” on the environmental impacts of the transport sector. In order to tackle the rising of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, the EEA urges the adoption of binding reduction targets. The study of the EEA warns that the contribution of the transport sector to the EU efforts to combat climate change is not sufficient. It notes that voluntary reductions promised by the car manufacturers are not ambitious enough and that aviation and the maritime sector are still not included in the commitments made under the Kyoto Protocol.
National Pages

The following national pages have been updated: Austria, Iceland, Ireland and Germany

Added to National Pages, Austria

* IEA appraises Austria’s energy performance
A publication presented by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 27 February 2008 provides an assessment of Austria’s energy performance in 2007. According to the report the country has the highest share of renewable energy among IEA members and is a leader in sustainable energy technology research. Although the IEA welcomed the 2007 revision of the national climate strategy, it noted the increase of CO2 emissions in the country and suggested a greater competition on electricity and gas markets as well as stronger policy co-ordination.

Added to National pages, Iceland
* EFTA Surveillance Authority brings Iceland before Court
On 20 February 2008 the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) initiated legal action against Iceland claiming that the country failed to incorporate Regulation No 648/2004 on detergents by the agreed deadline (3 December 2005). The Regulation governs the free movement of detergents in the internal market with a high level of protection of the environment. Iceland faces further proceedings before the EFTA Court for failing to transpose Directive 2004/26/EC amending Directive 97/68/EC and establishing measures against the emissions from internal combustion engines installed in certain types of non-road machinery.
Added to National pages, Ireland
* Consultation begins on Bathing Water Directive Implementation
Announced by the Irish Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, a public consultation began on 29 February 2008 on the implementation of the new Bathing Water directive 2006/7/EC. The directive sets stricter, clearer and more transparent criteria for the classification of bathing water into three categories: “excellent”, “good”, “sufficient” or “poor”. This system will ensure that the public receives sufficient information regarding the quality of the bathing water. The directive also strengthens rules concerning bacterial pollution in coastal and inland waters.

Added to National pages, Germany

* Reform of German packaging law
On 22 February 2008 the Bundestag adopted amendments to the act governing packaging and packaging waste, which are set to enter into force on 1 January 2009. In order to eliminate the situations where due to exceptions under the previous legislation, waste management duties could be avoided, the act obliges all sellers of packaged goods to join either the green dot recycling scheme or a similar initiative.

News and events
Added to Events
* Carbon Market Insights
For the fifth consecutive year, Point Carbon is once again hosting the premier event for the world’s carbon markets. The previous event, held in Copenhagen in March 2007, was attended by 1,600 delegates from over 60 countries. In addition, numerous side events will be held in order to allow delegates to discuss in-depth developments of the carbon markets and to constitute a unique opportunity for independent market actors to have their voice heard.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: 11-13 March 2008

* European Climate Conference
The main objective of this event is to encourage capacity-building from city to city regarding climate change. Rovigo 2008 is the event to attend to develop capacity of political decision-makers, municipal officers and other important local stakeholders. To assist regions starting with climate protection, additional support will be provided to clusters of cities and towns.
Location: Rovigo, Italy
Date: 2-4 April 2008
* The Making of Environmental Policies in Brussels: Working Groups
This seminar will provide information on today’s agenda as well as on the role of procedures, institutions and working groups and committees. It has been designed for officials working in national and regional administrations, nongovernmental organisations and academics who deal with or monitor EU environmental policy.
Location: Maastricht, The Netherlands
Date: 3-4 April 2008
* Perspectives for European Water Management Law
The conference seeks to provide a forum to discuss and exchange views on competing visions and concepts within the Community and in the Member States, and to contribute towards the further development of law in the field of European Water Management Law.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 3-4 April 2008

* Werken met het Nieuwe Besluit Bodemkwaliteit (Working with the new Soil Framework Directive, in Dutch)
The new Soil Framework Directive entered into force on 1 January 2008. This two-day training course will focus on the practicalities this new framework affects: on the opportunities it brings and the conditions to be observed.
Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Date: 20-21 May 2008
Added to Vacancies

* T.M.C. Asser Instituut – PhD Researcher EU Law in the area of freedom, security and justice
The T.M.C. Asser Instituut has a vacancy for a PhD Researcher in EU Law in the area of freedom, security and justice. Among others, the successful candidate is expected to carry out PhD research and contract research in the field of EU Law, to teach courses and lectures at post-academic level as well as to write, edit and manage (hard copy and electronic) publications.
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands
Deadline: 15 April 2008

* United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – Legal Officer, P4
The Legal Officer will be responsible for providing legal support to the development and implementation of new legal instruments under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol. He/she will be entrusted with the examination of the issue of privileges and immunities and the provision of legal assistance in the resolution of disputes, complaints and/or claims against individuals serving on constituted bodies and expert review teams established under the Kyoto Protocol.
Location: Bonn, Germany
Deadline: 21 March 2008

* European Aviation Safety Agency – Environmental Protection Rulemaking Officer
The jobholder will report to the Head of the Environmental Protection Unit in the Rulemaking Directorate and will assist in the development and timely execution of the Agency’s rulemaking programme in the field of environmental protection with emphasis in aircraft engine emissions. He/She will also assist in preparatory actions to support rulemaking activities in that field.
Location: Cologne, Germany
Deadline: 25 March 2008

* WWF-Belgium – Head of Congo Basin Unit
The successful candidate will develop and implement strategies designed to strengthen GAA (Government Aid Agency) policies on WWF issues, identify opportunities for co-ordination within WWF and influence policies related to illegal logging within the Congo Basin. He/she will also be entrusted with tasks concerning relationship management and proposal development coordination and support, as well as quality delivery oversight and capacity building and training.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 31 March 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)