EEL News Service 2005/05, 10 March 2005

EEL website survey

* Thank you to all who have completed the survey sent in the previous News Service. If you haven’t already done so, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Go to survey, at the website.
The EEL website team

Added to Case Law page:

* C-90/04, Commission v. Austria
ECJ 3-03-05, nyr, not yet available in English
Austria was condemned by the European Court of Justice for failing to provide an implementation report due under Directive 1999/32/EC. The Directive limits the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels.

* C-221/03, Commission v. Belgium
Opinion 03-03-2005, not yet available in English
ECJ Advocate General Geelhoed has recommended that Belgium be condemned for comprehensively failing to comply with the EU’s Nitrates Directive. Among other criticisms, the Opinion states that Belgian nitrate action plans are inadequate. It also points to gaps in Belgium’s application of good agricultural practice.

* C-225/04, Commission v. Finland
ECJ 24-02-05, nyr, not yet available in English
The European Court of Justice has ruled against Finland for missing a July 2003 deadline to transpose Directive 2001/106/EC on EU Maritime Safety into national law. This is the first judgment on this Directive updating earlier port state control legislation, setting standards for inspection of ships docking in the EU in a bid to prevent pollution. Finland says it notified the Commission of transposition measures in July last year, but the Court ruled that this was too late.

Added to Case Law page, ECHR:

* Application No. 48939/99, Oneryildiz v. Turkey
ECHR 30-11-2004
The European Court of Human Rights determined that Article 2 (right to life) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms protects citizens from a State neglecting the obligation to take appropriate steps to safeguard the lives of those within their jurisdiction. 39 inhabitants of a slum died as a result of a methane explosion in a mountain of waste. The authorities should have recognized the danger the inhabitants were in.

* Application No. 46117/99, Taskin and Others v. Turkey
ECHR 10-11-2004
In this judgment the European Court of Human Rights determined that Article 8 (respect for private and family life and home) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms can protect individuals likely to be exposed to dangerous effects of an activity when these dangerous effects have been determined as part of an environmental impact assessment procedure in such a way as to establish a sufficiently close link with private and family life for the purposes of Article 8.

Added to Legislation page, Climate Change and to Policy areas page, Climate Change, Legislation:

* Decision 2005/166/EC of European Parliament and of the Council of 10 February 2005 laying down rules implementing Decision No 280/2004/EC concerning a mechanism for monitoring Community greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol
The decision on monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and sinks supplements more general reporting rules agreed in 2004. As well as basic annual and biennial emission reporting cycles, the decision specifies parameters for projecting future emissions plus indicators for measuring progress towards emission commitments. The guidance comes at a key point: in 2005 all Kyoto protocol industrialised parties must show “demonstrable progress” on their commitments.

Added to Legislation page, Air and to Policy areas page, Air, Legislation:

* Commission Directive 2005/13/EC amending Directive 2000/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants by engines intended to power agricultural or forestry tractors, and amending Annex I to Directive 2003/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the type-approval of agricultural or forestry tractors
The Directive introduces three waves of stricter controls along the same lines as an EU law agreed in 2004 on other non-road mobile machinery and inland waterway vessels. The document strengthens EU limits on air pollution from agricultural and forestry tractors and offers manufacturers some flexibility over compliance with the stricter limits, which focus on cutting emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Added to Dossiers page:

* The Århus Convention
This dossier deals with the so called Århus Convention, an international environmental treaty aiming at involving citizens in the environmental decision making process. The dossier will thus first deal with the Convention itself before elaborating the attempts at EC level to implement its’ targets in the Member States. Finally, the steps taken to apply Århus to the Community institutions will be illustrated.

Added to Dossiers/links page, Links

* NGO links and a short explanation to more than 30 NGO’s like: BirdLife International, Greenpeace International and WWF.

* Lobby organisations with a short explanation like: European Wind and Energy Association, European Federation of Waste Management and Services, WWF European policy office.

* Environmental Law Networks with an explanatory note. For example: Environmental Law Network International, Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development and International Court of Environmental Arbitration and Conciliation.

* Education/Careers links like: Environmental Careers Oganization and Earthwatch Institute.

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)