Added to Case Law, ECJ
This reference for a preliminary ruling submitted by the Swedish Court concerns the interpretation of certain provisions of Council Directive 93/42/EEC concerning medical devices. The European Court of Justice stated that the Directive in question constitutes a harmonisation measure adopted pursuant to Article 95 of the EC Treaty (ex Article 100a EEC) and it is intended to promote the free movement of medical devices which have been certified in conformity with that Directive. The Court has ruled that Article 4(1) of Directive 93/42/EEC, must be interpreted as precluding legislation Member States to adopt legislation, such as the legislation at issue in the main proceedings, under which the commercial exportation of dental amalgams containing mercury and bearing the ‘CE’ marking provided for in Article 17 of that Directive is prohibited on grounds relating to protection of the environment and of health.
The Court of First Instance dismissed the action for annulment of Decision 2007/387/EC concerning the non-inclusion of dichlorvos in Annex I to Council Directive 91/414/EEC and the withdrawal of authorisations for plant protection products containing that substance. The applicant, a company which markets dichlorvos and plant protection products based on dichlorvos, raised one plea of illegality and nine pleas in law setting out grounds of annulment: 1) infringement of Article 8(7) of Regulation No 451/2000, infringement of Article 28(1) of Regulation No 178/2002 and infringement of Article 8 of Regulation No 451/2000; 2) lack of the objective scientific justification by the contested decision; 3) infringement of Article 5 of Directive 91/414; 4) infringement of the principle of proportionality, the right to a fair hearing and the rights of defence; 5) infringement of the principle of the protection of legitimate expectations; 6) infringement of the principle of sound administration and of the duty of excellence and independence of scientific opinions; 7) infringement of the ‘principle of non-discrimination’; 8) infringement of Article 95 EC, Articles 4(1) and 5(1) of Directive 91/414, 9) infringement of the principle of subsidiarity and Article 5 EC. The Court rejected all pleas and dismissed the action in its entirety.
The European Court of Justice declared that Italy has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 11(1) of Directive 2006/86/EC implementing Directive 2004/23/EC as regards traceability requirements, notification of serious adverse reactions and events and certain technical requirements for the coding, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissues and cells. According to the Court, Italy has not complied with Directive 2006/86/EC by not adopting all required laws, regulations and administrative provisions.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change
EU environment ministers meeting in the Council in Brussels on 23 November 2009 confirmed the EU position for the Copenhagen UN climate change conference and the mandate for negotiation that was established by the Environment Council earlier in October. The EU is aiming at a legally binding agreementthat is coming into force in 2013 and that builds on the Kyoto Protocol. Regarding the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries, the EU ministers welcomed recent announcements by which some parties have augmented their pledges and others have offered GHG emissions reductions for the first time. At the same time, the EU will continue using its conditional offer to move to a 30 % reduction compared to 1990 levels by 2020 as a lever to increase other parties’ pledges.
Added to Sectors, Energy
On 23 November 2009, the EU has signed in Berlin the Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) thus becoming the 138th member of IRENA and the first inter-governmental organization to join the Agency. IRENA was officially established in Bonn on 26 January 2009 with the objective to become the main driving force for promoting a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy on a global scale. The Agency will advise governments on drawing up national programmes for the introduction of these sources, dissemination of information about renewable technologies and implement training activities and advice on best practice and financing options.
On 17 November 2009, the European Parliament and the Council have agreed on the recast of the Energy Performance of Building’s Directive (EPBD). The recast proposal aims at extending the scope and strengthening the current Directive by setting a legal framework to upgrade the national building codes and by launching an ambitious policy of nearly zero energy buildings, so that all new buildings will be nearly zero energy as of 2020. As for existing buildings, Member States will also draw up national plans to increase the number of nearly zero energy buildings.
On 20 November 2009, the European Commission has sent a reasoned opinion to Portugal, Slovakia, Finland and the United Kingdom for their failure to notify the full transposition of Directive 2004/8/EC on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market. The Directive provides a framework for the promotion of the use of combined heat and power with the view of saving primary energy, avoiding network losses and reducing greenhouse gases. Furthermore, the Directive obliges Member States to carry out analyses of their potential for high efficiency cogeneration. If the four Member States omit to take the necessary measures to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months, the Commission may bring the case before the European Court of Justice in accordance with the infringement procedure established under Article 226 EC.
On 20 November 2009, the Commission has decided to refer Italy to the European Court of Justice for its failure to recognise certain guarantees of origin from other EU Member States specified under Directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market. Pursuant to this Directive Member States are required to establish a system of guarantees of origin and to recognise those of other Member States. Following investigation, the Commission has found that Italy’s refusal to recognise guarantees of origin from France, Greece and Slovenia for renewable electricity produced in 2005 was unjustified and therefore has decided to take Italy to the ECJ for breaching Article 5(4) of that Directive.
Added to Sectors, Waste
On 20 November 2009, the Commission published two implementation reports aiming to inform the other Community institutions, the Member States and the public about the implementation of the EU legislation on waste over the period 2004 – 2006. The general Implementation Reportcovers Directives 2006/12/EC on waste, 91/689/EC on hazardous waste, 75/439/EEC on waste oils, 86/278/EEC on sewage sludge, 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste, 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment, and 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles. This report is complemented by separate reports on the Waste Shipment Regulation and the End of Life Vehicles Directive. The reports which are based on data sent to the Commission by the Member States show that implementation and enforcement of EU waste law remain poor particularly regarding the Waste Framework Directive, the Landfill Directive, and the Waste Shipment Regulation. In many cases, waste treatment infrastructure is missing and waste is not collected separately. This results in reuse, recycling and recovery targets for waste streams such as electrical and electronic equipment, end-of-life vehicles or packaging being missed. There are also a high number of cases of illegal shipments of waste. The Commission continues to pursue Member States that breach EU environmental law in the European Court of Justice – over 20% of all environmental infringement cases are related to waste management.
On 20 November 2009, the European Commission announced that is launching Court proceedings against France for its failure to comply with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive 91/271/EEC. According to this Directive, France had to put systems in place for collecting and treating waste water in urban settlements of more than 15,000 inhabitants located in non-sensitive areas, before 31 December 2000. After two official warnings, the Commission considers that 64 agglomerations, among others in cities Arles, Avignon, Bordeaux, and Lyon, are still not in compliance with the EU standards and therefore has decided to refer France to the European Court of Justice. In addition, the Commission is sending a first written warning to Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, France and Germany for inadequate waste water treatment in smaller towns.
On 20 November 2009, the Commission has sent a reasoned opinion to Greece for not notifying on time the transposition into national law of Directive 92/3/Euratom on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste and nuclear spent fuel. The deadline for the transposition of the Directive was 25 December 2008 and the Greek authorities have still not notified the Commission of its final transposition into national law. If Greece fails to notify the Commission of the transposition of the Directive into national law within the set deadline, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
On 20 November 2009, the European Commission announced that is taking Bulgaria to the European Court of Justice for its failure to provide an adequate network of disposal installations for household waste in Sofia. Bulgaria should have had an adequate network of waste disposal installations in place, pursuant to the Waste Framework Directive (2006/12/EC), by the time of its accession on 1 January 2007. Following an assessment the Commission held that Bulgaria will continue to lack the necessary facilities for several more years and thus decided to refer the case to the ECJ.
On 20 November 2009, the European Commission has decided to pursue Court proceedings against Germany for the award of waste disposal service contracts without the execution of tender procedures. The case concerns a waste disposal service contract in 1998 with a contract period of 25 years and a contract value of approximately 150 million Euros between the city of Rostock and a mixed undertaking, and its amendment in 2004. Furthermore, the case concerns also the conclusion of an agreement in 2007 with a mixed undertaking concerning the provision of waste collection, treatment, recycling and street cleaning services with an annual contract value of 10.8 million Euros per year. The Commission concluded that these contracts or modifications have been carried out without the execution of tender procedures pursuant to the EU public procurement Directives and therefore initiated Court action against Germany.
Added to Sectors, Air
On 20 November 2009, the European Commission has sent a first written warning to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, France, Hungary, the Slovak Republic, and Romania for their delay in meeting air quality requirements with regard to airborne particles (PM 10). Directive 1999/30/EC relating to limit values for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead in ambient air obliges Member States to introduce limit values for PM 10 by 2005. The limits impose both an annual concentration value (40 μg/m3), and a daily concentration value (50 μg/m3) which must not be exceeded more than 35 times per calendar year. In a separate case, France is also receiving a final written warning for its failure to control limit values for sulphur dioxide in five industrial areas (Fos-sur-Mer, Rouen, Lacq, Estuaire de la Seine and Région Rhône-Alpes).
Added to Sectors, Chemicals
The European Commission has produced a document with a list of products and equipment that may contain restricted ozone depleting substances (ODS) and therefore would fall under Regulation (EC) 1005/2009, in order to assist customs authorities in identifying such goods. The list of the products is non-exhaustive and includes chemical substances, pharmaceutical products and dyes.
Added to Sectors, Nature and Agriculture
On 20 November 2009, the European Commission decided to take Spain to the European Court of Justice for its failure to provide adequate protection for 174 Natura 2000 areas in the Canary Islands. Spain had time until December 2007 to adopt the required conservation measures, but almost two years after the deadline the situation is still not resolved. The Commission has also sent a final warning to Cyprus over its failure to designate a sufficient number of areas for protection of wild birds in the areas of the Paralimni Lake, the Oroklini Lake and the Akamas peninsula, and a first warning to Bulgaria about the development of ski infrastructure in the Rila Mountains and the potential impact on the sites designated as part of the Natura 2000 network there.
Added to Sectors, General
On 20 November 2009, the European Commission has sent a final warning to Finland for non-compliance with a previous Court ruling (C-328/08) condemning Finland for its failure to transpose the Environmental Liability Directive (2004/35/EC) into domestic law. The deadline for transposition of the Directive was 30 April 2007 and while the transposition has been completed on the mainland, the Directive has not yet passed into law in the province of Åland. If Finland fails to take measures to comply, the Commission could ask the Court to impose fines on Finland.
The Commission is launching Court proceedings against Italy for its failure to issue new or updated permits for several hundred industrial operations pursuant to Directive 96/61/ECon Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC). The deadline for issuing new permits or reconsidering, and where necessary, updating existing permits for all industrial installations that were in operation before October 1999 was 30 October 2007. According to specific data, Italy has still not issued or updated those permits and following two written warnings, the Commission has decided to take Italy to the ECJ.
Added to Upcoming Events
This conference will bring together distinguished scientists, primary stakeholders, policy makers and high-level officials to discuss the present and the emerging challenges posed by climate change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In particular, the conference aims to stimulate the discussion on adaptation strategies through new technologies and management methods to minimize adverse climate change impacts.
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus
Date:11 – 15 January 2010
The third Annual Sustainability Summit will bring together up to 150 business leaders to discuss the real implications of climate change on their business. Hear from pioneers: the strategies they’ve used to become carbon-neutral while maintaining competiveness, and the false trails they’ve learned to avoid. Share insights from the world’s most influential thinkers and policymakers, as well as the latest research from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). There will be case studies from corporates on cutting-edge sustainability initiatives—both inspirational and informative.
Location: London, UK
Date: 25 February 2010
The objective of the meeting is to demonstrate the role of impact assessment in transitioning to the Green Economy, and communicate a strong and convincing economic case to governments and the private sector for greening economies and businesses, and creating decent green jobs by investing in a new generation of assets (natural, human, & financial).
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Date: 6-11 April 2010
Added to Vacancies
OEDC is looking for a Policy Analyst who will work as a team member of the Unit responsible for environment and sustainable development within the Policy Co-ordination Division. This Unit supports the work of the DAC Network on Environment and Development Co-operation (ENVIRONET).
Location: Paris, France
Deadline: 4 December 2009
Milieu Limited is looking for a full-time deputy director with a strong EU law and policy background. The successful candidate will be responsible for overall coordination of the professional staff, so as to ensure that all ongoing projects are successfully carried out to a high level of quality within the required deadline and budget. He/she will also be proactive in seeking new bid and business development opportunities, as well as devoting a significant amount of time to actual project activities.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 18 December 2009
Reporting to the Director General, the Director (Legal Adviser)provides authoritative legal advice on all aspects of the IAEA’s mandate as well as on the full range of operational issues of the IAEA. He/she provides leadership and professional direction to the staff of the Office and ensures the provision of legal guidance to all Departments.
Location: Vienna, Austria
Deadline: 6 January 2010
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)