EEL News Service 2005/02, 27 January 2005

Added to Case law page:

* C-117/03 Societa Italiana Dragaggi and Others
ECJ 13 January 2005, nyr
The Habitat directive’s protection mechanisms – such as obligatory impact assessments ex art. 6 – do not apply to sites only nominated for inclusion in the Natura 2000 network, but not yet formally endorsed as such. At the same time, the ECJ stresses that if sites are eligible for identification as sites of Community importance and are included in the national lists transmitted to the Commission and, in particular, these sites are hosting priority natural habitat types or priority species, the Member States are, by virtue of the directive, required to take protective measures that are appropriate, from the point of view of the Directive’s conservation objective, for the purpose of safeguarding the relevant ecological interest which those sites have at the national level. The ECJ fails to identify a concrete legal basis from the Habitat directive from which this legal obligation stems. Also, the link that is made between on the one hand the directive’s conservation objective – which is primary of a European nature – and on the other hand the national ecological interest in safeguarding a site not yet formally endorsed as a part of Natura 2000 does not seem to give the national judge much guidance.

* C-61/04 Commission v Greece
ECJ 13 January 2005, nyr, not yet available in English
Greece was condemned for non-transposition of Directive 2000/76/EC on waste incineration.

* C-32/04 Commission v France
ECJ 13 January 2005, nyr, not yet available in English
France was condemned for failure to transpose Directive 2001/58/EC on dangerous preparations.

* C-463/01 Commission v Germany ECJ 14 December 2004, nyr
Mineral water may only be bottled and transported in the same containers as authorised for distribution to the ultimate consumer, according to Directive 80/777. Mineral water falls under the German Packaging Ordinance in which it is regulated that if during 2 subsequent years less than 72% of reusable packaging is sold, six months after an announcement an obligatory deposit and return system will to take effect. According to the ECJ, the organisation of national reuse systems is not the subject of complete harmonisation under the Packaging and packaging waste directive. A violation of art. 28 EC Treaty is found as the replacement, as regards non-reusable packaging, of a global packaging-collection system with a deposit and return system hinders the placing on the German market of natural mineral water imported from other Member States even though there is no obligation to stop using non-reusable packaging and in fact, an increase could be witnessed in the import of mineral water in such packaging. The rule of reason cannot be invoked as the 6 months period is judged to be not sufficient to enable producers of natural mineral water to adapt their production and their management of non-reusable packaging waste to the new system, in spite of the fact that this period was announced in the German Packaging Ordinance since 1998. The ECJ finds this period a violation of the proportionality principle and thus deals another blow to the efforts to curb the ever rising amounts of packaging waste throughout the EU. Also see Case C-309/02.

* C-309/02 Radlberger Getraenkegesellschaft mbH & Co. S. Spitz Kommanditgesellschaft v. Land Baden-Wuerttemberg ECJ 14-12-2004, nyr
On the same day that Case C-462/01 was decided in which the ECJ judged the 6 month transition period in the German Packaging Ordinance a violation of the proportionality principle, in this judgment the 6 month period is found to be possibly too short to comply with the proportionality principle. Here, however, the ECJ says it leaves the final decision on this matter to the national judge referring the matter to the ECJ in this preliminary reference case. The C-462/01 judgment should make it easy for the German judge to determine whether the period is in fact too short.
Added to Conferences page and upcoming conferences:

* 31 January-4 February 2005, FAO/Netherlands conference on Water for Food and Ecosystems, The Hague, the Netherlands

* 7-8 February 2005, Second Annual Worldwide Security Conference, Brussels, Belgium

* 17-20 February 2005, IPSI-2005, Amalfi, Italy

* 24-26 February 2005, Public Interest Environmental Conference, Gainesville, United States

* 9-11 March 2005, A Successful Approach to Sustainable Development in a Public Private Partnership, Graz, Austria


* 12-13 May 2005, The Environmental Liability Directive: Practical Impact and Implementation, Brussels, Belgium


* 18-29 July 2005, Summer School Environmental Law: International and European Perspectives, Siena, Italy


Added to Legislation page:

* Commission Regulation (EC) No 2216/2004 of 21 December 2004 for a standardised and secured system of registries pursuant to Directive 2003/87/EC of the EP and of the Council and Decision No 280/2004/EC of the EP and of the Council
This Regulation lays down general rules, specifications and other requirements concerning the registries system (notably on standardized electronic databases containing common data elements) and the Community independent transaction log. It also provides for a communication system between the Community independent transaction log and the UNFCCC independent transaction log.


Added to Documents page, NGO documents:

* 2005 Geneva Declaration on Trade & Environment, 1 January 2005
The 10th anniversary of the WTO on 1 January 2005 forms an important milestone in modern legal and socio-economic history. The Declaration, sketched under supervision of EcoLomics International, provides for a constructive criticism of the WTO’s lack of positive action on environmental issues.


Added to Reviews page:

* Trade Law Experienced: Pottering About In The GATT And WTO, J. Bourgeois





Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)

Jens Hamer (Academy of European Law, Trier)



Daria Ratsiborinskaya (Institute of European law, MGIMO, Moscow)


Technical realisation:

Marco van der Harst, Julien J.M. Simon

(T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)