Added to Case Law, ECJ
By this action, the European Commission asked the European Court of Justice to annul Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste in so far as it is based solely on article 175(1) EC and not on both articles 175(1) and 133 EC. According to the Court’s settled case-law, if it is established that a Community measure simultaneously pursues a number of objectives or has several components that are indissociably linked, without one being secondary and indirect in relation to the other, such an act will have to be founded on the various corresponding legal bases. In the present case the dispute relates solely to the question whether the contested regulation, apart from the objective of protection of the environment, also pursues a common commercial policy objective and has components falling within that policy which are indissociably linked to environmental protection-related components of such importance that the act ought to have been adopted on a dual legal basis, namely articles 133 EC and 175(1) EC. The Court concluded that the contested Regulation aims to implement the obligations under the Basel Convention and that, both by its objective and content, it is aimed primarily at protecting human health and the environment against the potentially adverse effects of cross-border shipments of waste. Therefore, the Court recognized article 175(1) EC as the valid legal basis and the action was dismissed.
The applicants sought the annulment of Commission Decision 2007/389/EC of 6 June 2007 concerning the non-inclusion of malathion in Annex I to Council Directive 91/414/EEC and the withdrawal of authorisations for plant protection products containing that substance. The applicants raised an objection of illegality under article 241 EC and 10 pleas in law setting out grounds of annulment: the lack of an objective scientific basis for the contested decision; infringement of Article 95 EC and Articles 4(1) and 5(1) of Directive 91/414; breach of the principle of protection of legitimate expectations; breach of the principle of proportionality; infringement of article 8(7) of Regulation No 451/2000; breach of the ‘principle of non-discrimination’; breach of the principle of sound administration; breach of the rights of the defence; breach of the principle of subsidiarity and infringement of article 5 EC; and infringement of article 13 of Directive 91/414. The ECJ rejected all pleas and dismissed the action in its entirety.
Sector: Nature and Agriculture
Added to Case Law, ECHR
The applicants, two Polish nationals, relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time), Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) and Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights, filed a complaint before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against the Republic of Poland complaining about the excessive length of administrative proceedings related to the functioning of a craftsmen’s cooperative established next to the their home in 1978. The applicants further alleged that due to the cooperative’s continuous activities they have been subjected to serious noise and pollution for a number of years, which resulted serious and long-term health problems. On 21 July 2009, the ECtHR held that there has been a violation of the applicants’ right to a fair hearing, since the length of the administrative proceedings was excessive and failed to meet the “reasonable time” requirement. With regard to the applicants’ right to respect for private and family life, the Court reiterated that even if there is no explicit right in the Convention to a clean and quiet environment, Article 8 of the Convention may apply in environmental cases, regardless of whether the pollution is directly caused by the State or the State’s responsibility arises from failure to regulate private-sector activities properly. Nevertheless, the Court concluded that it has not been established that the noise levels considered in the present case are so serious as to reach the high threshold established in cases dealing with environmental issues. Therefore, the Court held that Article 8 of the Convention had not been violated.
Added to Legislation, Water
On 31 July, Commission Directive laying down technical specifications for chemical analysis and monitoring of water status has been adopted. The Directive entered into force on 21 August 2009. The objective of this Directive is to establish common quality rules for chemical analysis and monitoring of water, sediment and biota carried out by Member States. The Directive shall be transposed within 2 years from entry into force.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change
The World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3), which has brought together from 31 August to 4 September 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland, more than 2000 climate scientists, sectoral experts and decision-makers declared the establishment of a Global Framework for Climate Services “to strengthen production, availability, delivery and application of science-based climate prediction and services”. Proposed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), “the Global Framework for Climate Services aims to enhance climate observations and monitoring, transform that information into sector-specific products and applications, and disseminate those products widely,” said Mr Alexander Bedritsky, WMO President and Chair of the WCC-3 Expert Segment. The Declaration requests the Secretary-General of WMO to “convene within four months of the adoption of the Declaration an intergovernmental meeting of member states of the WMO to approve the terms of reference and to endorse the composition of a task force of high-level, independent advisors to be appointed by the Secretary-General of the WMO”. The European Commission welcomed the initiative.
Provisional data released on 31 August 2009 by the European Environment Agency (EEA) indicate that the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions for 2008 fell again for the fourth consecutive year. Compared to the 2007 official emissions published earlier this year, the annual reduction is estimated to be about 1.3 % for the EU-15 and 1.5 % for the EU-27. Based on these estimates, the greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 stand approximately 6.2 % below the Kyoto base-year emissions for the EU-15, and 10.7 % below the 1990 level for the EU-27. According to the EEA, the main reasons for the reductions were lower CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The EEA estimates are based on a range of economic data sources published at national and European level, including verified emissions from businesses participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and they do not take into account the effects of changes in land use. The official 2008 greenhouse gas emissions for the EU will be available in June 2010, when the EEA publishes the EU Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990–2008 and Inventory Report 2010, to be submitted to the UNFCCC.
On 4 September 2009, the Assembly Committee on the Environment of the Council of Europe adopted in Paris four climate change reports. According to the Rapporteur of the first report, an ambitious agreement on the reduction of CO2emissions needs to be reached in Copenhagen. The report takes stock of the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and reviews developments in the positions of key Parties to the negotiations in Copenhagen, focusing on the European Union, the United States, China and Australia. The second report stresses the importance of recognizing access to water and sanitation as a fundamental human right. The third report deals with the adoption of an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, which would recognize the right to a healthy and sustainable environment. The inclusion of this right in the Convention would in fact enable the Court to rule directly on violations of that fundamental right. In the fourth report the Committee calls for the establishment of a new governance of the oceans. These four reports will be debated at the Assembly’s forthcoming session from 28 September to 2 October in Strasbourg.
Added to Sectors, Chemicals
On 2 September 2009, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) opened a public consultation on the proposal to harmonise the classification and labelling of three chemical substances under the EU Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) of substances and mixtures.Following this Regulation, individual EU Member States and industry may propose harmonisation of the classification and labelling of substances. The substances in this consultation, submitted by Ireland, France and the Netherlands, are: tris[2-chloro-1-(chloromethyl)ethyl] phosphate (TDCP), tetrahydrofuran and abamectin. The consultation period lasts for 45 days and all comments will be taken into account in the subsequent decision-making process. If the proposal is accepted, the substance will be added to the list of harmonised classifications in Annex VI, part 3 of the CLP Regulation.
Added to Sectors, General
The European Commission found that two new internal requests submitted according to the procedure established under Regulation (EC) 1367/2006 (Aarhus Regulation) are inadmissible. This Regulation implements the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to Community Institutions and Bodies. Pursuant to Article 10, non-governmental organizations can challenge environmental administrative acts adopted by Community Institutions and Bodies. The first of the two most recent requests asked the Commission for a review of its Statement, published alongside the EU ETS Directive, allowing state aid for the construction of carbon capture ready power plants. The requester alleged that state aid for capture ready power stations is not in line neither with the general rules governing state aid (Article 87 EC Treaty), nor with the Commission Guidelines on state aid for environmental protection. The Commission held the request inadmissible, arguing that the contested act was a statement of political character which is not legally binding and does not have external (legal) effects, and thus not reviewable under the internal review procedure. The second request for internal review was submitted against the Commission Decision C(2009)2560 granting to the Netherlands a postponement of the deadline for attaining limit values for NO2 and an exemption of the obligation to apply the limit values for PM10, under the Directive on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe. Also this request was held inadmissible on the ground that the contested act constitutes a measure of general application and not an administrative act which could be challengeable under the Aarhus Regulation. These two internal review requests are added to a list of eight requests that have been held inadmissible. In total, nine internal review requests have been lodged to Community Institutions thus far.
The following national pages have been updated: United Kingdom
Notably, the following information was introduced:
Added to National Pages, UK
In July 2009, a High Court in London ruled that Corby Borough Council in Northamptonshire had been in breach of its statutory duty of care owed to its citizens by exposing pregnant women to toxic waste released into the air during reclamation works at an old steel manufacturing plant in the late 1980s and 1990s. The local authority has been found “extensively negligent” in its control and management of the sites which led to contaminated mud and dust being spread around Corby. The Court held that those contaminants could realistically have caused the types of birth defects suffered by the claimants – of which there was a “statistically significant” cluster between 1989 and 1999. The Council had denied it was negligent or that there was a link between the removal of waste and deformities and in August 2009 lodged an appeal against the judgment.
Added to Upcoming Events
As in the past, 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
The first international conference on energy efficiency and control of air pollutants from fossil fuels’ utilization, especially from coal-fired power generation, will deal with fundamental research; pilot scale testing; demonstration; commercial implementation and strategies for companies.
Location: Wroclaw, Poland
Date: 21-25 September 2009
The Forum will focus on such issues as the IFIs’ role in developing proactive strategies, actions on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and discuss opportunities for public and private sector investments into green energy procurement. EU perspectives and common policy actions on the EU level will also form a key part of our discussions, providing analysis of local approaches and outlining the way forward.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: 23-24 September 2009
The conference will provide a complete overview of the reduction in the quality of coastal waters in wet weather. It will cover: a summary of regulations and developments introduced by new European directives; the methods available for identifying pollution phenomena; the solutions developed to date, encouraging active management and sustainable preventive measures in coastal waters; public information and management issues.
Location: Granville, France
Date: 30 September – 1 October 2009
Added to Vacancies
This position leads the implementation of the Species Action Plans and coordinates WWF activities, policies, and advocacy as pertains to relevant species-based treaties and other intergovernmental fora, with a focus on the delivery of the conservation outcomes of the Global Programme Framework – CITES, IWC, CMS, and others.
Location: Gland, Switzerland
Deadline: 20 September 2009
The post holder will drive the development and implementation of a programme of research and partnership building in several countries like Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Vietnam and Brazil on forest-based climate strategies. In this, s/he will undertake work to better understand the impact of various possible REDD options on greenhouse gas emission reduction, poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Location: London, UK
Deadline: 21 September 2009
The Junior Legal Advisor will work mainly either in the Agency’s Legal Team on issues relating to chemicals legislation and on legal and administrative matters, as well as appeal or court proceedings, or in the Registry of the Board of Appeal on activities relating to appeal proceedings against certain decisions of the Agency.
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Deadline: 16 October 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)