Added to Case Law, ECJ
C-75/08, Christopher Mellor v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 4 of Council Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. The Directive provides that certain projects listed in Annex II must be subject to an assessment only if they are likely to have significant effects on the environment. In that regard the England & Wales Court of Appeal requested a ruling as to whether or not it is necessary to give reasons for the determination made by the competent national authority not to proceed to an environmental impact assessment when evaluating a request for building a hospital – project falling within Annex II of Directive 85/337. The ECJ ruled that Article 4 must be interpreted as not requiring that a determination, unnecessary for a subject a project falling within Annex II, should contain the reasons for the competent authority’s decision that the environmental impact assessment is unnecessary. However, if an interested party so requests, the competent administrative authority is obliged to communicate the reasons for the determination or the relevant information and documents in response to the request made.
C-516/07, Commission v. Spain
On 7 May 2009 the ECJ condemned Spain for failing to identify the appropriate competent authority within each river basin district pursuant to Article 3 (2) Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (currently available only in Spanish and French).
C-443/08, Commission v. France
On 7 May 2009 France has been condemned by the ECJ for the failure to implement Directive 1999/13/EC on the limitation of emissions of volatile organic compounds due to the use of organic solvents in certain activities and installations. The Court found that France did not properly transpose into national law the definitions of ‘small installation’ and ‘substantial charge’ pursuant to Article 2 paras. 3 and 4 respectively (currently available only in French).
Added to Legislation, Energy
*Council adopts Regulation on energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in housing
On 5 May 2009 the Council of Ministers adopted a Regulation making energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy schemes eligible for support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The new Regulation is part of the European Economic Plan and its main objective is to increase the share of energy-efficiency investment by simplifying the management, administration and control of ERDF.
Added to Legislation, Water
*MEPs adopt Directive on criminal sanctions for ship-source pollution
On 5 May 2009 the European Parliament adopted a new directive that forces EU countries to introduce criminal penalties for maritime pollution. The directive introduces compulsory criminal sanctions for serious cases of maritime pollution, and also forces member states to impose stringent penalties for minor cases in the event they are repeated, deliberately caused or the result of serious negligence. The directive leaves to the national governments the determination of penalties, which shall be “effective and dissuasive”, not only for ship-owners but also for the “other agents” involved in sea transport, for instance cargo owners. The directive is a revised version of a text initially tabled by the Commission in February 2007. The original proposal has been modified following a European Court of Justice ruling later in 2007.
Added to Sectors, Energy
*European Investment Bank s new carbon investment fund
On 28 April 2009 the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) have agreed to increase the financing of small and medium-sized companies in the sectors of clean energy, environment and climate change, notably in Central and Eastern Europe. The EIB and the KfW also announced their intention to up a further global carbon fund for CO2-saving projects. This new fund is designed to assist small and medium-sized companies meeting their reduction obligations and to provide an outlet for new forms of carbon credit from developing countries.
Added to Sectors, Nature and Agriculture
*EU s post-2010 biodiversity policy
At the end of a two-day conference on biodiversity protection beyond 2010 held in Athens on 27-28 April 2009, and after the European Commission has predicted that the EU is unlikely to meet the original target by EU governments in 2001 to halt the decline of biodiversity by 2010, delegates from all the EU Member States adopted an eight-point plan which s the priorities for a post-2010 biodiversity policy framework. The ‘Message from Athens’ draws attention to better communication about biodiversity loss and its consequences, the need to ensure available funds and the importance to further develop Europe’s Nature 2000 network of protected areas. Delegates at the Athens conference also recognized the importance of integrating biodiversity concerns into other policy areas and issuing climate measures in full accordance with the policies for the protection of biodiversity.
Added to Sectors, Chemicals
*Nine new chemicals banned under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
The Conference of the Parties amended the Stockholm Convention to add nine toxic chemicals to the list of persistent organic pollutants (POPS) that are prohibited in farming and industry. The newly targeted chemicals include products that are widely used in pesticides and flame-retardants, and in a number of other commercial uses, such as a treatment for head lice. The EU had nominated the majority of the chemicals, which are already heavily restricted in the European because of the risks they pose to human health. The COP also agreed on closer coordination between the Stockholm Convention and its sister treaties – the Basel and Rotterdam Conventions – on hazardous chemicals and waste.
*REACH enforcement project launched
On 5 May 2009 the Forum of the European Chemicals Agency has introduced the first enforcement project to assess companies’ compliance with REACH chemical rules. Inspectors in the participating countries will focus on the phase-in substances (existing substances) and check through inspections whether companies have submitted a pre-registration or a registration and, where necessary, whether a Safety Data Sheet has been supplied. The results of the project will be collected by the end of 2009 and analysed by the Forum Working Group which will produce a report in early 2010.
The following national pages have been updated: Germany
Notably, the following information was introduced:
Added to National pages, Germany
*German court confirms national ban on genetically-modified maize
On 5 May 2009 the Braunschweig administrative court confirmed a ban on Monsanto’s MON 810 GMO maize imposed on 14 April 2009 by the Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner. Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, had requested an urgent decision to lift the ban on the crop which prevented it being sown for this year’s harvest. The court held that the ban is justified on environmenal grounds, since there were indications that the maize – modified to be super resistant to crop-destroying insects – could be dangerous.
Added to Upcoming Events
*Green Week 2009
What are the prospects for reaching a new global deal to control climate change at the crucial Copenhagen conference in December? How can we best ‘climate-proof’ our economies against the impacts of present and future climate change? How can we create a carbon-free society by 2050? How can we ensure action to address climate change best serves conservation of the ecosystems that support life on Earth? These questions are going to be addressed in the biggest annual conference on European environment policy, organized by the European Commission.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 23-26 June 2009
*7th annual EU Emissions Trading 2009
In the 7th annual EU Emissions Trading conference top emissions trading specialists will share their knowledge of how to maximise opportunities in Phase II, and prepare for Phase III, of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in light of the economic recession and international negotiations on climate change.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 9-10 July 2009
*World Forum on Energy Regulation IV
Regulators, government officials, industry representatives and other stakeholders will convene in the World Forum on Energy Regulation IV to discuss energy and regulatory developments and challenges. The Forum will be hosted by the Regulatory Authority for Energy of Greece (RAE) in coordination with the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER).
Location: Athens, Greece
Date: 18-21 October 2009
Added to Vacancies
*European Environment Agency (EEA), Project Manager- Renewable energy
The European Environment Agency (EE) is organizing an open competition with a view to recruiting
a contract agent to work within the area of renewable energy and further with a view to establishing a reserve list. Under the responsibility of the Head of Energy and Transport Group, reporting to the Head of Programme, the Project Manager shall be responsible for renewable energy data reporting and policy analysis: characterizing different renewable energy sources in terms of technical potential, environmental impact of exploitation, cost of energy, effectiveness of promotion policies and providing assessments of renewable energy trends and of impacts on human health and the environment, among others. The reserve list for this post will be valid until 31 December 2010 and may be extended.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Deadline: 5 June 2009
*European Environment Agency (EEA), Project Manager – Ambient air quality data reporting and policy analysis
The European Environment Agency (EEA) is organizing an open competition with a view to recruiting a contract agent to work within the area of ambient air quality data reporting and policy analysis and further with a view to establishing a reserve list. The position will entail the following tasks: providing assessments of air pollution trends and of air pollution impacts on human health and the environment providing spatial air quality assessments making use of state of the art models, satellite data as well as measurement data steering data reporting developments, improvements, streamlining and integration of air quality data flows, among others. The reserve list for this post will be valid until 31 December 2010 and may be extended at the discretion of the Appointing Authority.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Deadline: 5 June 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)