Added to Case Law, ECJ
Case C‑248/05, Commission vs. Ireland
ECJ 25-10-2007, not yet reported
On 25 October 2007 the ECJ ruled that Ireland had failed to fulfil its obligations under Council Directive 80/68/EEC amended by Directive 92/692/EEC. Under this Directive, Member States are bound to prevent the introduction of certain dangerous substances to groundwater, while limit the discharge of others. According to the Court, Ireland had failed to take the necessary measures (especially all technical precautions) to prevent harms caused to the surrounding aquatic system by the discharge of heavy metal, phosphorus and especially leachate to the groundwater under a municipal landfill.
Case C-334/04, Commission vs. Greece
ECJ 25-10-2007, not yet reported
The ECJ condemned Greece for violating Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds. Pursuant to the judgement, Greece had failed to designate special protection areas for the Kruper’s nuthatch, while other SPA’ were inadequately demarcated as they offer insufficient protection to several other wild bird species.
Added to Sectors, General
* Commission presents legislative and work programme for 2008 (COM(2007)640)
The European Commission work programme for 2008, published on 23 October 2007, details next year’s endeavours in terms of legislation proposals, policy papers, action plans and reports. The key areas of action set out by the programme include among others the combat against climate change, energy, migration, growth and jobs or enlargement, in line with the main focus of the document on sustainable development. With regards to energy, a series of initiatives will be presented in 2008 under the “second energy strategic review” as well as directives on buildings energy performance, energy taxing or energy labelling scheme are expected to be reviewed. As for climate change, a White Paper entitled “Adapting to Climate Change” will be presented. The Commission will put emphasis on the environmental aspects of the transport sector by noting the future drafting of three related policy papers. A “thorough revision” of the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Directive has also been foreseen in the working programme.
Added to Sectors, Nature and Agriculture
* Commission decisions give green light to GMOs
On 24 October 2007, the European Commission decided to authorise the marketing of four genetically modified products. Three out of them are genetically modified maize varieties, approved for feed and food use and for import and processing. In addition, a modified sugar beet was approved for feed and food use. The authorisations are valid for ten years and do not allow for cultivation.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change
* Council Conclusions on Climate Change
During the Environmental Council meeting of 30 October, Ministers of the 27 Member States have agreed on common goals for the EU for the UN Climate Change conference in Bali between 3 and 4 December 2007. The council conclusions wish to see the foundations to of an agreement to be laid down that would take over the role of the Kyoto protocol after 2012. The document furthermore urges industrialised nations to commit themselves to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction compared to 1990 levels and expresses hopes for a decision to be agreed on the actions to combat deforestation.
* International carbon action partnership (Icap) launched for a global carbon market
The European Commission, UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, New Zealand, Norway and members of two regional trading schemes in North America, all involved in the implementation of mandatory cap and trade systems, on 29 October 2007, decided to create a global alliance of emission trading schemes called “International carbon action partnership”. “Icap” was founded with the aim to create a global platform to combat climate change by exchanging best practices and agree on common approaches, in order to align new and planned emission trading schemes, thereby contributing to the creation of a global carbon market.
The following national pages have been updated: Austria, The Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom
Notably the following recent information was introduced:
Added to National pages, Austria
* Campaign to promote energy efficiency for consumers
Austria has launched a campaign to promote new, energy saving electronic appliances over old, inefficient ones. The joint initiative of the Ministry of Environment, the electronics industry and energy supplies is hoped to result in a significant cut of household energy consumption, even up to 25 per cent of the current levels.
Added to National Pages, The Netherlands
* “Sustainability accord” signed with Dutch companies
The Dutch government has reached an agreement with Dutch companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels until 2020. This is in line with the EU’s commitments agreed by the Heads of States on 8 March 2007 but is below the 30% reduction target set by the Netherlands, as according to the Minister for the Environment, businesses would like to remain competitive on the European markets.
Added to National Pages, United Kingdom
* UK Parliamentary Committee concludes likely failure to comply with emission targets
A report entitled “The structure of Government and the challenge of climate change” was published by the Environmental Audit Committee, a parliamentary body appointed by the House of Commons to examine environmental protection and sustainable development implications of policies, on 16 October 2007. The report establishes that the Government is likely to fail to reach the domestic carbon emission targets it has set to itself. In order to deliver better results and preserve the leading role of the UK in reaching a post-Kyoto agreement, the Committee suggests the creation of a Climate Change and Energy Secretariat to ensure greater coherency among the government institutions involved.
News and events
Added to Book reviews
* The Enforcement of EC Environmental Law, 2007
Pål Wennerås, Oxford University Press 2007, 341 pp., hardback, ISBN 978-0-19-922901-7
The level of enforcement of legal norms is an important factor to measure their effectiveness. This book provides a comprehensive overview of how successful the enforcement of environmental rules in the EU Member States has been. The fundamentally distinctive nature of EC environmental law from other Community fields is analysed and challenged. The book tests whether the specific features of environmental legislation create a serious obstacle for its effective enforcement. On the basis of a detailed case law analysis, it is shown that environmental plaintiffs have formally access to the same judicial mechanisms than other sectors and recommendations are provided to overcome the enforcement deficiencies occurring in the practice.
* The Yearbook of European Environmental Law, Volume 7, 2007
Thijs F.M. Etty and Han Somsen (eds.-in-chief), Oxford University Press 2007, 571 pp., £130,- (hardback; 25% discount with the flyer on the EEL website), ISBN 978-0-19-920275-1
This volume provides a comprehensive overview of current developments. It is divided into four parts: “Articles”, “Current survey”, “Reviews of books” and “Documents”. “Articles” are written by academics, practitioners and policy-makers and cover a wide range of timely and important issues. For instance, the compliance mechanism of the Aarhus convention is detailed and the first cases handled by the Convention’s Compliance Committee are elaborated on; in the face of climate change, the implications of the general prevention duty prescribed by Article 2 of the UNFCCC are analysed, and support systems for renewable energies in certain EU Member States are compared. “Current survey” gives an in-sight to the past years’ developments of the specific sectors of European environmental law. The “Documents” part contains critical assessments of recent Commission Communications, Reports and Working documents. Not only detailing Community actions but providing references to national measures, this book – like its predecessors – form an indispensable read for scholars, teachers, students, policy-makers and practitioners working on the field of European environmental law.
* The Codex Alimentarius Commission and Its Standards, 2007
Mariëlle D. Masson-Matthee, T.M.C. Asser Press 2007, 351 pp., hardback, ISBN 978-90-6704-256-7
This book examines the legal aspects of the activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a body which was created in 1963 by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop food standards on for instance natural mineral water and growth hormones in cattle. The publication specifically looks at the legitimacy and legal status of these food standards in WTO law and in European law. It was successfully defended as PhD thesis on 26 October 2007. At that occasion, the book was described as an important and unique reference for both the academic world as well as for practitioners.
Added to Events
* European Forum of Eco-Innovation
The European Forum brings together business and policy perspectives in a series of unique events that explore strategic orientations for eco-innovation and environmental technologies, in support of the EU Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP). This third edition of the Forum will be devoted to the role of Environmental Performance Verification (EPV) in supporting the market take-up of eco-technologies.
Location: Paris, France
Date: 26-27 November 2007
* European offshore wind conference & exhibition
Due to the success of the Copenhagen Offshore Wind event (COW05) organised at the end of 2005, the conference is being developed into a biannual series of major European events dedicated to offshore wind energy.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Date: 4-6 December 2007
Added to Job Postings
* T.M.C. Asser Instituut – PhD candidate / Consultant public procurement relative to EU law
The PhD candidate will carry out research that will result in a successful PhD on public procurement, within four years. He/she will carry out contract research in the field of public procurement and, at times, in other areas of EU law, possibly in relation to environmental protection issues.
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Deadline: 1 December 2007
* United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – 2 Programme Officers (P-3)
UNFCCC seeks two programme officers for its Sustainable Development Mechanisms programme, which supports the implementation of the Kyoto mechanisms. The successful candidates will review requests for registration to ensure that they meet project registration requirements under the Clean Development Mechanism.
Location: Bonn, Germany
Deadline: 23 November 2007
* United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Director, Communication and Public Information (D-1)
The Director will be entrusted with developing UNEP policies and strategies for communication and dissemination of information, promoting environmental issues, and informing the general public, UN Systems, Governments and NGOs of UNEP’s role in environmental matters.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 1 January 2008
Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Jens Hamer (Academy of European Law, Trier)
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)