The origin of this case was a claim brought by the European Commission according to article 226 EC Treaty that Germany had breached the public procurement rules by allowing a group of local authorities to enter into an arrangement for waste disposal directly with another local authority without undergoing a tender process. The ECJ observed that Community law does not require public authorities to use any particular legal form in order to carry out jointly their public service tasks, and concluded that such cooperation between public authorities does not undermine the free movement of services and the opening-up of undistorted competition in all Member States.
C-205/08, Umweltanwalt von Kärnten and Alpe Adria Energia SpA
AG Opinion 25-06-2009
The case, which was referred to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling by the Austrian Umweltsenat (Environment Tribunal), regards to the interpretation of the EIA Directive. Advocate General Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer advised the Court to interpret the EIA Directive as meaning that a Member State must provide for an obligation to carry out an assessment of the projects listed in Annex I to the Directive, in particular in point 20, where the proposed scheme is to extend over the territory of two or more Member States, even if the threshold giving rise to the obligation to carry out an assessment is not reached in the section situated on its territory but is reached by adding the section planned on the neighbouring State or States.
C-241/08, Commission v. France
AG Opinion 25-06-2009
In this action brought by the Commission against France, Advocate General Kokott proposes the Court to that France has violated its obligations under article 6, paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of the Habitats Directive, by failing to adopt all the laws and regulations necessary to properly adapt its domestic law to those provisions.
Sector: Nature and Agriculture
C-263/08, Djurgården-Lilla Värtans Miljöskyddsförening v. Stockholms kommun genom dess marknämnd
AG Opinion 02-07-2009
The case was referred to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling by the Swedish Högsta Domstolen (Supreme Court). In particular the national Court asked the ECJ to determine whether article 10a of Directive 85/337, as amended by Directive 2003/35 to bring it into line with the Aarhus Convention, allows ‘the public concerned’ unrestricted access to the courts when that public has participated in the procedure for planning consent. Advocate General Sharpston concluded that earlier participation does not of itself guarantee unrestricted access to justice by ‘the public concerned’. However, a non-governmental organisation promoting environmental protection which meets the definition of ‘the public concerned’ does have an automatic right of access to justice under article 10a. Moreover, AG Sharpston adhered the view that Article 10a of Directive 85/337 as amended is to be interpreted as precluding a national provision requiring an organisation to have a minimum number of members in order to qualify as ‘the public concerned’.
C-558/07, S.P.C.M. and others v. Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation and validity of certain provisions of the REACH Regulation. In light of the fact that the registration requirements in Title II of the REACH Regulation do not apply to polymers, the England & Wales, Queen’s Bench Division Administrative Court, sought clarification of the concept of ‘monomer substance’, as used in article 6(3) of the REACH Regulation. The referring Court asked whether ‘monomer substances’ were to mean ‘reacted monomers’, namely monomers which have reacted together in such away that they are bound in the polymers of which they are components, ‘unreacted monomers’ which are residual to the polymerisation process and which retain their own chemical identities and properties separate from the polymer after that process is complete, or both ‘reacted’ and ‘unreacted monomers’. The ECJ concluded that the concept of ‘monomer substances’ in article 6(3) of the REACH Regulation relates only to ‘reacted monomers’ which are incorporated in polymers and that the obligation to register ‘reacted monomers’ is an appropriate means by which to realise the objectives of the REACH Regulation.
Added to Sectors, Air
*Council reaches agreement on industrial emissions
On 25 June 2009, the Environment Council reached a political agreement on the re of the Directive on integrated pollution and prevention control. The agreement retains the key aspects of the Commission proposal presented in December 2007 which merges seven Directives into one and streamlines certain provisions. The draft law tightens sulphur and nitrogen emissions as well as the release of dust particles, asbestos and heavy metals into the environment, introduces standards for environmental inspections, renders the review of permits more effective and ensures the effective implementation of best available techniques. The agreement will now be sent to the European Parliament for a second reading.
*Commission decided on nine more air quality derogation requests
On 2 July 2009, the European Commission adopted nine decisions concerning temporary exemptions in 94 zones or agglomerations from the EU’s air quality standards for airborne particles known as PM10. Under the 2008 EU air quality Directive, Member States may, under strict conditions and for specific parts of the country, extend the time for meeting the PM10 standard until June 2011. In 19 air quality zones in Austria, Germany and Hungary, the Commission has decided that the notified exemptions satisfy the conditions in the Directive. The Commission rejected the remaining extension requests covering 75 zones in Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France and Slovakia because of insufficient data or because abatement measures outlined by the countries could not guarantee that the standards would be met within the extended deadline. Member States may re-notify for zones where the Commission has raised objections if they provide new information to demonstrate fulfilment of the conditions. In April 2009 the Netherlands was the first country to have a request for extensions ed by the Commission. Nineteen states have applied for derogations to date. Decisions on requests from further eight countries are expected from the Commission before the end of the year.
Added to Sectors, Energy
*Council approves recovery plan projects in the field of energy
On 7 July 2009, the Council adopted a Regulation establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by ing Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy, approving all the European Parliament’s first reading amendments. The Regulation is part of the European economic recovery plan endorsed by the European Council in December 2008. The Regulation lists 47 projects and the Community contribution for each of them, with a total financial envelope for implementation in 2009 and 2010 of EUR 3,980 million.
*Council adopts nuclear safety Directive
On 25 June 2009, the Council Directive establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations (not yet published in the Official Journal) was adopted. The Directive implements the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Safety Fundamentals guidelines. It requires Member States in particular to up and continuously improve national nuclear safety frameworks. The Directive enhances the role and independence of national regulatory authorities, confirming license holders the prime responsibility for nuclear safety. Member States are required to encourage a high level of transparency of regulatory actions and to guarantee regular independent safety assessments. The EU is the first major regional nuclear actor to make the main international nuclear safety standards mandatory.
Notably, the following information was introduced:
Added to National Pages, Greece
*Commission takes legal action against Greece over lack of measures to protect important wetland
On 25 June 2009, the European Commission launched infringement proceedings against Greece over failure to implement the legal protection and conservation framework necessary for Lake Koroneia, an internationally important wetland. Following infringement proceedings in 2002 relating to the pollution and degradation of the lake, the Greek authorities committed to put in place a specific legal framework and address illegal activities on the site. Although the Greek authorities have established the legal framework and adopted a management and restoration plan to rehabilitate the wetland, progress to implement the protection measures has been slow. The Commission considers that Greece has not taken adequate action to prevent the degradation of the lake and disturbance of fauna and flora and therefore decided to open a new infringement case by sending a first written warning to Greece.
Added to National Pages, Belgium
*Commission sends Belgium last warning over waste water case
On 25 June 2009, the European Commission has sent a second written warning to Belgium for failure to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling on the treatment of urban waste water. In 2004 the Court has ruled that over 100 towns and cities in the Brussels, Flanders and Walloon regions were lacking adequate waste water collecting systems and secondary or tertiary treatment plants, and asked that the situation be remedied. A first warning was sent to Belgium in January 2006 for not complying with the Court ruling and an additional first warning was sent in October 2007. While progress has been made since the ruling, the Commission found that Belgium still does not fulfil all its obligations under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission could refer Belgium to the European Court of Justice and ask that fines be imposed.
Added to Upcoming Events
*8th International Carbon Dioxide Conference
The objective of the conference is to provide a multidisciplinary forum for all aspects of modern carbon cycle research pertinent to understanding the natural and anthropogenic controls of atmospheric carbon dioxide and its interactions in the global Earth system with a special focus on the contemporary anthropogenic perturbation.
Location: Jena, Germany
Date: 13-19 September 2009
*Multiple stressors-novel methods for integrated risk assessment
The conference is organized to present the main results from the FP6 Project NoMiracle. The event is open also for external contributions, especially in the areas of: integration of environmental and human risk assessment assessment of chemical mixtures and combinations of chemicals and natural stressors understanding complex exposure scenarios understanding the cognitive and knowledge related, social and contextual aspects of integrated risk assessment.
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Date: 28-30 September 2009
Added to Vacancies
*European Environmental Bureau, EU Ecolabel Coordinator
The Ecolabel Coordinator will represent simultaneously EEB and BEUC as stakeholders in the EU Ecolabel Scheme, and oversee the participation of representing experts in product group development Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 12 July 2009
*Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the EU, Junior Manager – Environmental Affairs
The duties of the Junior Manager-Environmental Affairs include monitoring and analysis of EU environmental policy developments affecting the food and drink industries management of industry expert groups preparation of policy positions supporting the sector’s engagement with the EU institutions, international organisations and other stakeholders.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 19 July 2009
*European Environment Agency, Project Manager – Climate Change Science and Policy
Under the responsibility of the Head of Air and Climate Change Programme and in collaboration with staff in the Programme and the Natural Systems and Vulnerability Programme, the project manager shall be responsible for work on issues related to climate change science and policy.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Deadline: 27 July 2009
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)
Efstathia Koutsopoulou (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)