Added to Case Law, ECJ
C-188/07, Commune de Masquer vs. Total France SA and Total International Ltd
ECJ 13-03-2008, Opinion of Advocate General Kokott, not yet reported
In this case resulting from the Erika shipping disaster, the ECJ was asked to interpret the provisions of Directive 75/442 on waste in relation to whether heavy fuel oil can be considered waste or becomes waste after a spillage accident. The Court was also asked whether the defendants’ subsidiaries had to bear the costs of clearing off the oil pollution given that they produced the heavy fuel oil and arranged its transportation. Advocate General Kokott stated that heavy fuel oil, which meets the user’s specifications and is refined and intended to be sold as a combustible fuel, cannot be treated as waste within the scope of Directive 75/442. In relation to the second point, the Advocate General concluded that when heavy fuel oil is spilled by accident and is mixed with water and sediment, it can be treated as waste within the meaning of Directive 75/442. Finally, it was concluded that if the producer, seller and carrier of the heavy fuel oil can be found guilty of personally contributing and/or causing the polluting spillage, then they may be ordered under Article 15 of Directive 75/442 to bear the costs of disposing of the waste and of clearing the pollution. It was noted, however, that liability was limited by the provisions of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 29 November 1969 and the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1971.
Joined Cases C-14/06 and C-295/06 Parliament vs. Commission
ECJ 01-04-2008, not yet reported
On 1 April 2008 the European Court of Justice annulled Point 2 of the Annex to Commission Decision 2005/717/EC, which amended the Annex to Directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive). The contested decision grants a general exemption for the use of DecaBDE – a type of bromine-based flame retardant, principally used in polymers and in textile coating – in electrical and electronic equipment. The Court ruled that the exemption Commission Decision 2005/717/EC granted to DecaBDE under the prohibition of Directive 2002/95/EC has not met the strict conditions laid down in Article 5(1) of the Directive.
Sector: Dangerous substances
T-467/07, Du Pont de Nemours (France) and Others vs. Commission
CFI 14-03-2008, not yet reported
On 14 March 2008 the Court of First Instance refused to grant interim measures to chemical producer corporation Du Pont. The company brought a claim before the CFI on 21 December 2007, in which it contested that methomyl, a pesticide used in many plant protection products, was not included in Annex I to Council Directive 91/414/EEC. In the order, the CFI refused the suspension of Council Directive 91/414/EEC, declaring that the interim measures are not justified as the contested decision would not cause serious and irreparable damage.
Sector: Dangerous substances
Added to Sectors, General
* 2860th meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council – Council Conclusions
The 2860th meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council held in Brussels on 17 March 2008 adopted Council Conclusions on the Commission Communication “Preparing for the Health Check of the CAP Reform”. Ministers of the 27 Member States signalled their opposition against the proposed extension of cross compliance requirements (Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions) for EU farming subsidies. At the same time, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council welcomed the abolition of the compulsory set-aside rule, which has been suspended since 26 September 2007 in response to the problems in cereal production due to the extreme weather conditions of summer 2007.
Added to Sectors, General, Dossiers
* Cautious proposal on criminal harmonisation for environmental protection
The European Commission tabled a proposal (COM134) on 11 March 2007 to amend Directive 2005/35/EC on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for infringements. The proposal aims at filling in the legal vacuum caused by the annulment of Council Framework Decision 2005/667/JHA. Directive 2005/35/EC in its original form was initiated in 2003: a year after the sinking of the oil tanker Prestige and the resulting environmental disaster shocked Europe and prompted a rapid Community reaction. On 12 and 13 December 2002 the Copenhagen European Council expressed its determination to take all necessary measures to avoid similar disasters and welcomed the European Commission’s efforts to examine the need for specific new measures.
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Added to Sectors, Climate Change
* Climate fund targeting developing countries kicks off
The European Commission launched a new fund to promote renewable energy use in developing countries. The Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF) is initially designed to operate between 2007 and 2010 with a starting budget of up to 80 million euros. It will provide new risk-sharing and co-financing options to sub-regional funds, mostly to investments below 10 million euros, as these operations tend to benefit the least from international and domestic investors.
* Application of the Emissions Trading Directive by EU Member States – reporting year 2007 (EEA Technical report No 3/2008)
On 13 March 2008 the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report on reporting obligations of EU Member States in 2007 under Article 21 of Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community. The EEA concludes that the implementation of the EU ETS is generally improving. According to the report only 30 of the 120 installations with reporting obligations submitted an incomplete report, which is a definite decrease compared to the previous year. The EEA also gives an overview of fines imposed by Member States on those facilities that were not reported properly.
Added to Sectors, Nature and Agriculture
* IUCN and Shell present study on the relation between business and biodiversity
The conservation of biodiversity from a market-based approach is the topic of the joint report released by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and Shell on 27 March 2008. The study sees the solution to address biodiversity-loss in enhanced efforts of market forces and cites examples of businesses that could profit from nature conservation, such as ecotourism. It calls for policy reforms to introduce a cautions conservation approach in suggesting to increase the number of commercial rewards for conservation and to institute higher penalties for biodiversity loss.
* Natura 2000 Network extended
New sites were added to Natura 2000, the Network of over 26.000 protected areas occupying more than 20% of the total EU territory, in January and March. Ten new countries extended their list of protected areas in three bio-geographical regions: in the Alpine, Macaronesian, and on 28 March 2008 in the Mediterranean region. The legal basis for the Natura 2000 network comes from Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds and Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
Added to National Pages, Hungary
* Operational programme 2007-13: Environment and Energy Operational Programme
The Operational Programme falls within the Convergence Objective Framework; it is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and has a total budget of around 4.9 billion euros. The aims of the Environment and Energy Operational Programme include enhancing the quality of life by reducing dangerous pollutants, the protection and preservation of natural assets, the prevention of pollution and waste creation and the strengthening of environmental awareness. The investment provided through the Programme is hoped to increase flood protection, the share of renewable energy sources, bio-fuels production as well as to influence a change in consumer habits.
Added to National pages, Italy
* Commission satisfied with Italian reaction to mozzarella situation
Following the incident with dioxin-contaminated mozzarella cheese in the region of Campania, several measures were taken to contain the spread of the product, according to the statement of the Italian authorities on 28 March 2008. The Minister of Health assured the European Commission that the intensified inspections and systematic checks made it certain that the contaminated cheese would not enter the EU market. The Commission noted the efforts and decided not to take further actions in the case.
Added to National pages, Sweden
* New law proposed for sustainable forestry
On 18 March 2008 the Swedish government tabled a proposal concerning the forest-based sector, proving Sweden’s intensified efforts to mitigate Climate Change. The draft is expected to increase the sector’s productivity while ensuring that forestry will have a greater share in bio-energy and bio-fuel production.
Added to National pages, France and National pages, United Kingdom
* Sarkozy and Brown promise close co-operation against climate change
In a declaration issued on 27 March 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged to intensify the countries’ cooperation in order to combat climate change. The UK and France voiced their shared goal, a strong post-2012 international agreement to be reached in Copenhagen in 2009 and an effective EU action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Concerning the first issue, the leaders called for effective action while observing developing countries’ needs, while for the latter issue, they expressed their hopes to reach agreement on the climate change and renewable energy package before the end of 2008.
News and events
Added to Events
* Salon Bois Energie
This is a unique exhibition dedicated to the entire wood energy chain, showcasing wood heating, wood fuels and wood/forestry equipment for local authorities and industry (co-generation), professionals and domestic users.
Location: Lons le Saunier, France
Date: 3-6 April 2008
* The European Energy Market; Climate Change and Sustainable Business Development
Making the most of the unrivalled experience and reputation of the College of Europe, each EU Executive Seminar will address the main issues of interest in a particular field for senior business executives, lobbyists, consultants, officials, diplomats and EU experts. The first event will focus on the European Energy Market, while the second on the correlation between Climate Change and sustainable business development.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 22-23 May and 5-6 June 2008
* SPE International Conference on Health, Safety & Environment
The conference theme, “In Search of Sustainable Excellence,” reflects the efforts made to improve HSE performance, to sustain the high level achieved, and to meet the growing expectations from the industry and the general public. The conference provides a unique opportunity for professionals to share experiences with their colleagues, and share views and concerns with a wide range of stakeholders.
Location: Nice, France
Date: 15-17 April 2008
* OECD-UNEP Conference on Resource Efficiency
The conference provides an opportunity for senior representatives from governments, businesses, international organisations and civil society to discuss resource efficiency issues and influence international debates.
Location: Paris, France
Date: 23-25 April 2008
* An Introduction to Clean Energy
The programme will include a mix of presentations and discussions, as well as numerous examples of clean energy projects from around Europe and around the world.
Location: Cambridge, UK
Date: 24 April 2008
* RENEXPO Central and South-East Europe 2008
During the 3-day congress, leaders from the political and economic sectors convene with members of the media, trade organisations, producers, and service providers. 400 participants will discuss legal and financing questions, the latest technologies and their application, future market development, and implementation strategies.
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Date: 24-26 April 2008
* Sustainable Energy 2008
This conference will provide a forum for energy companies, regulators and other key industry stakeholders to meet, share perspectives and discuss sustainable energy strategies. It will further explore the relationship between regulation and the market and how this can become more synergistic.
Location: London, UK
Date: 28 April 2008
* Solar Innovations and Investment 2008
The conference will incorporate key developments from all areas of solar energy, including PV, STEG and Solar Thermal. Delegates will receive in depth analysis on market potential, regulations and policies, new innovations, the built environment and investment opportunities. There will also be an interactive workshop on solar power finance, an exhibition of new solar technologies and many networking opportunities.
Location: London, UK
Date: 21-23 May 2008
* Recent Developments in European Environmental Law
The seminar will deal with recent developments in European environmental law, primarily by analysing the European Court of Justice’s recent case law and the activities of the other EU institutions in the field of environmental law. Both individual measures and the European Commission’s environmental policy as a whole will be discussed.
Location: Trier, Germany
Date: 29-30 May 2008
Added to Vacancies
* United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Regional Director for Africa, D-1
The Director for the Regional Office for Africa will work under the general guidance of the Director, Division of Regional Cooperation but with a considerable amount of independence. He/she will identify, assess, and monitor relevant needs, priorities, trends, developments, and policies in the context of Africa as well as will formulate and implement the substantive work programme of the Regional Office, communicate, advocate, and secure support for UNEP policies and programmes in Africa and identify and build/strengthen strategic partnerships for national, sub-regional and regional cooperation both with African Governments, the private sector and civil society.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 8 April 2008
* 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
* Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – Senior Legal Officer, P-5
The Senior Legal Officer will, among others, prepare legal opinions on matters relating to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) He/She will also provide legal advice on matters relating to the implementation of the CWC, to States Parties on their National Implementing Legislation, and on relations with the host country and the implementation of the Headquarters Agreement.
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands
Deadline: 25 April 2008
* United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Regional Director for Asia, D-1
The Regional Director for Asia will identify, assess, and monitor relevant needs, priorities, trends, developments, and policies in the context of Africa. He/she will formulate and implement the substantive work programme of the Regional Office, communicate, advocate, and secure support for UNEP policies and programmes in Africa and identify and build/strengthen strategic partnerships for national, sub-regional and regional cooperation both with African Governments, the private sector and civil society.
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Deadline: 25 May 2008
Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Jens Hamer (Court of First Instance of the European Community, Luxemburg)*
* All views expressed are entirely personal and can in no way be attributed to the CFI or ECJ
Leonardo Massai (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Marianna Kondas (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)