EEL Newsservice 2007/22, 20 December 2007

Added to Case Law, ECJ

C-106/07, Commission vs. France
ECJ 6-12-2007, nyr
On 6 December 2007, the European Court of Justice condemned France for failing to fulfil its obligations under Directive 2000/59/EC on ship-generated waste. According to the judgement, the authorities omitted to develop and implement waste reception and handling plans with respect to some of the French ports; neither did they inform the European Commission about the existing ones.
Sector: Waste

C-418/04, Commission vs. Ireland
ECJ 13-12-2007, nyr
On 13 December 2007, the ECJ ruled that Ireland had failed to fulfil its obligations to protect several of its wild bird species, in particular by falling short of designating adequate protective areas. In a very comprehensive judgement, the Court extensively elaborated on the non-compliance of Ireland with several provisions of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended by Commission Directive 97/49/EC on the conservation of wild birds and of Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
Sector: Nature

C-194/05, C-195/05 and C-263/05 Commission vs. Italy
ECJ 18-12-2007, nyr
On 18 December 2007 the European Court of Justice in three separate cases ruled that Italy had failed to fulfil its obligations under EC legislation on waste by providing a too narrow definition of waste. In case C-194/05 and in case C-195/05, Italy failed to classify excavated earth and rocks intended for re-use on one hand, and food scraps and leftovers used to produce animal feed on the other hand, as waste, when transposing Council Directive 75/442/EEC on waste as amended by Council Directive 91/156/EEC. The judgement in case C-263/05 condemned Italy for excluding certain substances intended for waste disposal or recovery operations or forming production residue from the national legislation implementing Directives 91/156/EEC on waste, 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste and 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.
Sector: Waste
Added to Legal texts, Chemicals
* Commission regulation 1451/2007
On 4 December, the European Commission published a regulation on the 10-year work programme to evaluate the environmental impacts of biocidal products in accordance with Directive 98/8/EC on the placing of biocidal products on the market. The regulation adds only minor corrections to the existing testing regime; for instance by granting derogations for certain substances and eliminating the possibility to have authorisation for others.

Added to Sectors, General
* Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council (14 December 2007)
On 14 December 2007 the last European Council meeting of the year adopted its Presidency Conclusions, which provides a summary of EU activities in 2007 and highlights the priorities for 2008. In the part of the document dealing with economic, social and environmental issues, the EU Heads of State or Government emphasised the need for developing more environment-friendly transport modes. The European Commission was asked to increase its efforts on finalising the directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law as well as to deliver an EU strategy for the Baltic Sea region by June 2009.

* Proposal to align legislation to regulatory procedure with scrutiny
On 11 December the European Commission tabled its proposal (COM(2007)741) to adjust existing legislation with the new EU rules on regulatory procedure with scrutiny. These grant the right for the European Parliament to block Commission proposals with regards to certain technical implementation decisions adopted by the Commission and Member State expert committees. The proposal is supposed to affect several pieces of environmental legislation, alike the provisions on waste landfill and incineration, environmental noise, certain fluorinated greenhouse gases or the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms.

Added to Sectors, Air

* Second-reading deal reached on air quality law
On 11 December 2007 the European Parliament adopted a resolution at second reading on the ambient air quality directive, following an agreement reached with the Council Presidency at the end of November. Regarding the emission targets, the caps for particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) will be 25µg/m3 from 2010, this becoming binding from 2015. As for PM10, the emission value will remain 40µg/m3 as regulated by Directive 1999/30/EC, but three-year derogation can be requested with reference to specific circumstances. Once entering into force, Member States will have two years to transpose the Directive into national law. On 11 December the EP also confirmed another deal reached with the Council by a second-reading resolution on the Marine Strategy Framework directive.

Added to Sectors, Chemicals

* CFI refuses interim measures in cases involving chemical substances
The Court of First instance in separate orders brought on 11 December in cases T-349/07 and T-350/07 dismissed the request of a group of pesticide manufacturing and marketing firms for interim measures. The companies have turned to the Court to contest the withdrawal of marketing authorisation from carbosulfan and carbofuran – two ingredients used in plant protection products – pursuant to Council Directive 91/414/EEC. The applicants asked the CFI to suspend the EU-wide ban on these substances until this case is concluded. The CFI declared the measures would be unnecessary as the damage caused by the ban to the reputation of carbosulfan and carbofuran is not irreparable.

Added to Sectors, Climate Change

* Car emission limits proposed
On 19 December 2007 the European Commission proposed draft legislation on a compulsory CO2 emission limit for cars of 130 grams per kilometre on average.  According to the proposal, the threshold will be set on the basis of the mass of the vehicle. Apart from the environmental benefits, this rule is expected to provide incentive for the car manufacturing industry in terms of technology development.

* EEA presents National Emission Ceilings Directive status report 2006 (Technical report No 15/2007)
On 5 December 2007 the European Environment Agency published its status report on the compliance with the National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive (Directive 2001/81/EC), which sets binding emission caps for dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and ammonia. According to the report the majority of Member States are projected to reduce their related emissions; nonetheless, thirteen Member States are likely to exceed the emission limits for one or more of the four pollutants.

Added to Sectors, Water

* MEPs call for intensified cooperation in the Baltic Region
On 13 December 2007 the European Parliament, prompted by the shipping disasters in the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea, adopted a resolution in relation to maritime safety. Mentioned areas suffered serious environmental damage on 11 November 2007, when ten ships sunk and more than 2 000 tonnes of fuel oil and sulphur was spilled into the sea. The resolution urges states of the region to strengthen their cooperation in order to avoid the occurrence of similar catastrophes.

National Pages

The following national pages have been updated: Israel, Estonia and Slovakia

Notably the following recent information was introduced:

Added to National pages, Israel
* New Water Treatment Technologies
Recently, new water treatment technologies that can increase the potential of water sources have been discussed in Israel. New technologies are not always included in routine methodologies due to the inconsistency between rapid technological developments on the one hand and slow development of some regulatory systems on the other. The comment discusses the flaws of the handling of new technologies by the legal system.

Added to National Pages, Estonia
* Environmental Liability Act adopted
An Act on Environmental Liability was proclaimed by the President of Estonia, in line with the requirements of Directive 2004/35/EC. The new piece of legislation lays down the main principles to be followed in the event of an environmental damage. It will nonetheless only apply to cases of significant consequences: the remaining will remain governed by the rules on financial compensation.
Added to National Pages, Slovakia
* Commission decides on amendments to Slovakian NAP
According to the decision of the European Commission of 7 December 2007, Slovakia’s National Allocation plan was raised by 1.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions, following a request of an additional 4 million tonnes. Slovakia is one of the seven Member States that contested the decision of the Commission on the NAP before the European Court of Justice. This development however might changes the position of the country to pursue its claim, especially in light of the recent order of the ECJ to refuse interim measures from Poland in a similar case.

News and events
Added to Events

* Emissions Trading Under EU ETS Phase II & Phase III
The ENDS third annual Emissions Trading conference will analyse the European Commission’s new proposals and outline what they will mean for existing scheme members and new entrants. The conference will also provide essential guidance on how to comply with new Phase II commitments.
Location: London, UK
Date: 20 February 2008

* 4th Annual Brussels Climate Change Conference
After a series of high profile events related to climate change throughout 2007 such as the G8 summit or the major economies meeting, the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali agreed on a roadmap for the negotiations for a post-2012 climate change agreement. After taking stock of the state of negotiations, this Centre for European Policy Studies and Epsilon Events joint conference will explore the key issues for the post-2012 agreement.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 26-27 February 2008

* Working with Impact Assessment in the European Union
This three-day course, organised by the European Institute for Public Administration, offers participants an intensive introduction to integrated (social, environmental and economic) Impact Assessment.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 12-14 March 2007

Added to Job Postings

* University of Groningen – PhD Position at the Department of Administrative Law and Public Administration
The PhD candidate will be involved in the Project ”stricter national environmental standards after minimum harmonisation”. Minimum harmonisation is becoming more and more popular in European legislation. However, a preliminary exploration of the research field seems to suggest that Member States make very little use of their powers to lay down or maintain more stringent environmental standards. The aim of this study is to show whether this hypothesis is correct and what legal causes may be found for it.
Location: Groningen, Netherlands

Ramsar Convention Secretariat – Senior Regional Advisor for Asia/Oceania
The main responsibility of the position is to provide expert and authoritative advice and assistance to Contracting Parties in the region on policy, technical, and scientific issues related to the implementation of the Convention at the national and regional levels, in the context of global issues.
Location:  Gland, Switzerland
Deadline: 7 January 2008

United Nations Environment Programme  (UNEP) – Deputy Director, D-1
The director’s primary role is to manage the operations of the Division of the Global Environment Facility, ensuring transparent, strategic and high quality business planning processes, fiduciary responsibility and standards, staff deployment and human resource management, coordinating knowledge management, communications and outreach, and Monitoring and Evaluation functions.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 16 February 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)

Technical realisation:
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)